2 Now I appeal to Euodia and Syntyche. Please, because you belong to the Lord, settle your disagreement. 3 And I ask you, my true partner, to help these two women, for they worked hard with me in telling others the Good News. They worked along with Clement and the rest of my co-workers, whose names are written in the Book of Life.
4 Always be full of joy in the Lord. I say it again—rejoice! 5 Let everyone see that you are considerate in all you do. Remember, the Lord is coming soon.
6 Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. 7 Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.
Dear God, we have to be careful about disagreements. Even Paul fell into this with Barnabas over what to do about John Mark. Maybe he was thinking about that as he encouraged Euodia and Syntyche to settle their disagreement. I wonder how much he regretted his falling out with Barnabas in later years–or even soon after they parted ways.
Of course, there are people in my life with whom I have disagreements. It hurts to have them unresolved, and I’m honestly not sure what to do about them from here. I’ve tried to communicate that I’ve tried to hear their perspective, but beyond that it feels like we have reached an impasse. What really frustrates me is that there is one relationship in particular that is in disarray, and the other person simply refuses to communicate with me any offense I might have made of which I am not aware. They have just blocked me out. Most recently, I drew a line that appears to be the straw that broke the camel’s back, or given them that one last excuse they felt they needed to completely disown our relationship, but the truth is they’ve been nursing something against me for years and this is just the excuse they needed. For my part, I couldn’t sacrifice that last line that I drew just to hold onto a thread of relationship that wasn’t real anyway, but only manipulative. I couldn’t sacrifice that line for their sake.
Father, I prayed yesterday about monuments I try to use to remember the good you have done for me in my life. In this case, you have given me some really strong affirmations from past broken relationships that have recently experienced tremendous healing. You have shown me that my willingness to sacrifice a shallow relationship for the good of the other person–for some tough love, if you will–actually can pay off for the good of that other person as well as for the good of our relationship. So I thank you for that. I thank you for the affirmation and encouragement. And so I pray for the broken relationships in my life now. May you use the pain we might be experiencing for your glory and redeem it so that real, authentic relationship can be developed through healing. Let your kingdom come and your will be done on earth through my life.
In Jesus’s name I pray,