Help, I need somebody
Yes, and I ask you, my true companion, help these women since they have contended at my side in the cause of the gospel ...
- from Philippians 4:3
Even as Paul pleaded with Euodia and Syntyche to be of the same mind in the Lord, he asked their community to intervene on their behalf. He asked their friends to run toward - not away from - the mess.
What do you do when you see friends in conflict?
Some of us run away. "I have enough drama in my life ..." we shout over our shoulder. We're motivated by selfishness or laziness or fear. We may mask this with a veneer of "I'm minding my own business," but deep down we know our refusal to help isn't helpful.
Others of us pick a side. We ignore the possibility that both sides have contributed to the conflict. We listen and gossip. We throw fuel on the fire. And we feel better about ourselves, telling ourselves "At least my drama isn't as bad as their drama."
What Paul asked of the Philippians was to engage in a healthy way and to work for reconciliation ... to help ... to walk that tension in the space between being helpful and being overbearing. And that's what we're called to do as well. Loving and supporting and, ultimately, pointing both parties back toward Jesus.
How should we step into conflicts? When should we let folks make their own decision and go their own way?
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