What Legacy Will You Leave?
“2 I plead with Euodia and I plead with Syntyche to be of the same mind in the Lord. 3 Yes, and I ask you, my true companion, help these women since they have contended at my side in the cause of the gospel, along with Clement and the rest of my co-workers, whose names are in the book of life.” Philippians 4:2-3 NIV
I don’t think I’ve ever studied the three people mentioned in Philippians 4:2-3 in the years I’ve studied the Bible. Euodia, Syntyche, and Clement are not folks who many are familiar with, but since Paul mentions them in his letter, it is worth looking into their stories.
Paul identifies Euodia and Syntyche, as women who “contended at my side in the cause of the gospel…” While it is great that they were faithful workers with Paul, we see that these two women, for whatever reason, were the source of some type of dispute or argument within the church.
Euodia and Syntyche are remembered for two things. They started out faithful in contending with Paul for the gospel and they are also remembered for having some kind of disagreement in the church. Interestingly, what they were fighting about is not remembered. By the way, 2,000 years from now
Will you be remembered for perpetuation insignificant arguments within the church?
Euodia and Syntyche did serve faithfully with Paul. I’m sure they were a part of God doing great things in the church in Philippi. Sadly, the legacy they left was one of division. Paul does not question their salvation, mentioning that their “names are in the book of life” but he pleads from his Roman prison cell that they “be of the same mind in the Lord.”
Their faithful service to the cause of the Gospel was overshadowed by their quarrel. It is interesting that their quarrel is remembered, but the cause of it is not. While we have no idea what they were arguing about, we do know that whatever it was, it was bringing division into the church. If you are tempted to cause strife in the church, maybe you need to ask if it will make a difference 2,000 years from now.
The lesson we learn from the two women in Philippians 4 is that we should not let our quarrels define us. It is better to be remembered for our faithful service to the Lord. Paul includes both Euodia and Syntyche as being “in the book of life” however that did not automatically mean that they were delivered from complaining and quarrelling.
While we know that Paul pled with them to resolve their conflict, in the end we don’t know if these two women resolved their differences. What we need to know is that worry and anxiety often builds when we fail to resolve broken or strained relationships. Paul challenged them to do the difficult and to face their differences.
Will you be remembered as a faithful contender for the Gospel?
Clement was remembered as a contender for the cause of the Gospel. He is remembered as a co-worker of Paul and as one whose name was written “in the book of life.” It is unlikely that Clement
Being a faithful contender for the Gospel does not mean we never disagree with one another. It does not mean that we are doormat Christians who never stand up for anything. It means that we are faithful to allow the Gospel’s priorities to override our own. It means that we value
If your life were summed up in one sentence, would you be found as a complainer or as a contender for the cause of the Gospel? Would you be known as quarrelsome with God’s people or as a co-worker for Christ?
Holy Spirit I want to be a contender for the faith. I want to be a co-worker for Christ. I don’t want to be quarrelsome or a complainer. Open my eyes to see how I can be a top contended for the cause of the Gospel in my generation. In the strong name of Jesus Christ I pray… amen.