Philippians 4:2, Matthew 7:18, John 15:5, Galatians 5:22-23, 2 Corinthians 12:9, Isaiah 40:29, Colossians 3:12-14
Olumide Kolawole considers the importance of unity.
Euodia and Syntyche (Philippians 4:2) were at logger-heads. These were supposed Christians that understood the Christian virtues and values of being at peace with all men.
Matthew 7:18 suggests that 'a good tree cannot bear bad fruit.' And in John 15:5, Jesus made it clear that He is the vine and we are the branches, and because fruit is borne by branches, we as branches should bear good fruit.
Galatians 5:22-23 describes the fruit of the Spirit as love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance against such there is no law.
Looking at it logically, would it not appear hypocritical that these women (Euodia and Syntyche) who were well-grounded unfortunately seemed to struggle with being at peace with one another?
As believers, we cannot afford to blow our testimony in the full glare of the world.
However, being mortals, we are weak in some aspects of our lives, and once we admit our frailty, help is available to be sought by His grace.
2 Corinthians 12:9 gives the account that 'His grace is sufficient for us (His loving kindness and mercy are more than enough and always available regardless of the situation; for His power is being perfected and is completed and shows itself most effectively in our weakness'.
He gives power to the faint and weary, and to him who has no might He increases strength causing it to multiply and making it to abound according to Isaiah 40:29.
The theme for the month in the local assembly where I worship is 'Unity and Strength', and this renewed call for unity comes at a very important time for Christians to be at peace and be united with one another, and also for churches to be at peace with each other as Paul suggested in Philippians 4:2 saying, 'be of the same mind in the Lord'.
The 'God factor' should always be the unifying factor no matter our differences.
It is possible to look at the account of the two women described in Philippians 4:2 (Euodia and Syntyche) and consider it as far-fetched, amusing and dramatic, but it is closer to home than we think.
Have you been a catalyst to fuelling conflicts or a contributor to the disruptive and divisive politics sometimes seen even within the Christian circle?
A body that fights itself can be likened to an imminent case of self-destruct.
Colossians 3:12-14 explains that 'You and I are chosen by God for this
new life of love, we dress in the wardrobe He picked out for us:
compassion, kindness, humility, quiet strength, discipline. We are
even-tempered, content with second place, quick to forgive an offence.
We forgive quickly and completely as the Master forgave us. And
regardless of what else we put on, we wear love. It is our basic
all-purpose garment. We never want to be without it.'
May the Lord help us as we leave lasting legacies behind. Amen.
Youth Supervising Minister
Living Water Parish Stoke
View all Life Files by Olumide Kolawole