If there is anything that takes people out of ministry and on the mission field, it’s conflictual relationships. It is the grit of ministry that is hard to deal with as there are different values, cultures, ways of doing things and more. And unlike a marriage that is covenant for life, relationships have the free will to leave and move on. And people do. And it’s not always best.
There were two women in Philippi so at each others’ necks that they were causing problems in the church. Conflict is like that. We think it only affects the people we are fight with and not everyone around us. Ever worked with someone who has had a bad marriage? It’s no bueno for everyone who is near them.
Paul made the problems of these two women a matter to public address because their problems were already more than likely very public. And he gave them good advice.
“agree with each other in the Lord.”
There are sometimes we are not just going to agree with someone. People are coming from different but equal values and with different levels of maturity and different personalities. We will clash with some people in life. And some in big ways. But in the kingdom we have common ground–the Lord.
Agree with each other in the Lord
We may never see eye to eye on something, but we can come to a place where we can agree with someone in the Lord. We can both profess our faith in him, preach his name, share his truth and more. We can stand together on the death, resurrection and ascension of Jesus Christ and that he loves us, each other and all people. If that’s all we can agree on, then sometimes that’s enough. At the end of the day we can honor in the Lord another person’s place “in the Lord.”
If truth be told I’ve had a couple of ministry people that it took everything we both had and we barely were able to meet in the middle. But I appreciate when people try. And I try.
In the Lord.
In Jesus it is possible for two believers to find common ground. And it’s always better to work towards building bridges than fences. And Jesus is the bridge that makes relationships, at least somewhat of a working relationship possible.