Two women who work hard for the cause of Jesus are Euodia and Syntyche. Paul calls them his coworkers, for they struggled at his side to spread the good news about Jesus. Their actions are commendable, and it would be great to celebrate their diligent labor.
However, another trait—an unfortunate one—supersedes their work in advancing God’s kingdom. They can’t get along. Though they share a common goal, they live in disharmony with each other. They disagree. They argue.
Each one thinks she is right and the other, wrong. Both have too much pride to back down. Their interpersonal struggle affects those around them, hurting the common cause they work so hard to advance. Their bickering hurts Jesus’s church.
Even though he isn’t present, Paul must act.
He begs them to get along, to push through their spat and put it behind them. Notice that Paul doesn’t take sides or try to mediate their dispute. He just tells them to work together and stop arguing. I hope they listen and do as Paul asks.
The work of God is important. However, despite our best efforts, we sometimes get in the way, thwarting the effectiveness of our work through petty squabbles and ungodly behavior.
Will we be commended for our work or criticized for arguing?
[Discover more about Euodia and Syntyche in Philippians 4:2–3.]
Read about other biblical women in Women of the Bible, available in audiobook, e-book, paperback, and hardcover.
A lifelong student of the Bible, Peter DeHaan, PhD, wrote the 700-page website ABibleADay.com to encourage people to explore the Bible. His main blog and numerous books urge Christians to push past the status quo and reconsider how they practice their faith in every area of their lives.