Therefore, my brothers, whom I love and long for, my joy and crown, stand firm thus in the Lord, my beloved.
2 I entreat Euodia and I entreat Syntyche to agree in the Lord. 3 Yes, I ask you also, true companion, help these women, who have labored side by side with me in the gospel together with Clement and the rest of my fellow workers, whose names are in the book of life.
4 Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. 5 Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; 6 do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
8 Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. 9 What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you. – Philippians 4:1-9
I call Psalm 133 the Watermelon Psalm. It says that it is good and pleasant when brothers dwell together in harmony. After an extensive search for food that is both good and pleasant I decided to choose watermelon as the food that is both good and pleasant. For example, Bacon: Pleasant-YES; Good (for you)-NO; Kale: Pleasant-NO; Good (for you)-YES. Watermelon (according to the internet authorities): Pleasant-YES; Good (for you)-YES. Good and pleasant.
When brothers or sisters fight it is neither good nor pleasant. When our sons fought it was a distressing thing to me. I thought they were actually going to hurt one another. NOT GOOD. NOT PLEASANT.
Apparently Euodia and Syntyche were not in a good or a pleasant place. They were in a public disagreement of some sort. A domestic squabble (one taking the servant of the other)? A financial issue: She owes me 5 denarii! No! She owes me 10 denarii!!! A personal affront: She embarrassed me! I did nothing of the sort; I just told the truth. It might even have risen to a higher level of conflict.
Paul does not tell them how to solve their problem directly. But he does give a great insight: They are to agree in the Lord. The unity they have in Jesus held a greater power than the frustrations and tensions that held them apart. There are some things people of good character and good will can agree to disagree on. Apparently this was one of those issues.
Think Democrat or Republican. Liberal or conservative. Aggie or Longhorn. Yankee or Johnny Reb. Go deeper: White or black. Hispanic or Asian. Korean or Japanese. Let all these pale in comparison to our unity in Christ.
Paul will not yield one moment to the circumcision party. Their teachings contradicted the gospel. But he would become as one under the Old Testament Law or one completely free from it in order to win people to Jesus.
Is there an allegiance that is improperly superseding your allegiance to Jesus? If so, remember watermelon and put your allegiances behind your allegiance to Jesus. Agreeing in the Lord is both good and pleasant!