Like-minded in conflict


I plead with Euodia and I plead with Syntyche to be of the same mind in the Lord.

- Philippians 4:2

We have no idea why Euodia and Syntyche were fighting. But, for Paul, their relationship was important enough to mention in his letter to the Philippian church.

He pleaded with them to be of the same mind, picking up a thread he mentioned earlier in his letter (Phil. 2:2). When selfish ambition and vain conceit rise in our hearts, division creeps into our relationships. 

Having the same mind in the Lord starts with having the same mindset as the Lord ... thinking like Jesus. He didn't think that winning was more important than loving. In Philippians 2, we heard Paul say that even though Jesus had power and authority, he humbled himself and, in the end, it turned out to be the best thing for him and for all of us.

What damage it does to our relationships when we refuse to humble ourselves!

Humbling yourself in moments of conflict may look like this:

  • It may look like listening to the other person, even if you think they might be wrong
  • It may look like affirming the other person's emotional experience, even if the conflict is the result of a misunderstanding about your intentions
  • It may look like taking ownership of your contribution to the conflict, even if your slice of the pie is a small one
  • It may look like asking for help, even if you're embarassed to admit the conflict is bigger than you can handle on your own

Think about a recent or significant experience of conflict you've had.

Where did you show humility in the conflict? What difference do you think it would have made if both you and the other person had been able to show more humility?

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1 Comment

If someone upsets me with their behavior, their actions may be wrong or ill-advised but I can still pray for the welfare of the person. By praying for the person who has harmed me, I decrease the bitterness I feel and can find some good in them. When a neighbor tried to steal my dog I hated him--but after praying for him daily I started to feel protective of his brokenness.

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