Nobody likes to get into another person’s drama. “Not my monkeys, not my circus” is how many would say it. But sometimes people just need some outside navigation. Couples need marriage counselors, businesses need consultants, children need parents and sometimes people in the same church need a Syzygus or even a group of them.
Syzygus is used in v. 3 and can be either the name of a person or a reference to people. It means “loyal yokefellow.” Paul implored this man or perhaps others to help these women. They might not have wanted to help and others might not have wanted to help them. Who wants to jump into the middle of two raging lionesses?
But Paul directly asked them to engage with these ladies. Their fighting was causing problems and it wasn’t getting resolved by their own efforts. Someone had to intervene.
Notice Paul did not choose sides. I’m sure he knew the gist of their argument but he didn’t say one person’s way was better than the other. In fact, he honored both of them. These were women who had contended at his side for the cause of the gospel.
There is a time to stay out of conflict. And as leaders, there is a time to step in. But letting conflict go unchecked for long periods of time can be hurtful to the whole body of Christ.