Summary: Only by giving up my way and resolving to do it Jesus’ way can conflicts be resolved and peace experienced.
Sunday, June 29, 2002
Have you heard the name Tracy Lyperd? Tracy was a beauty queen for the state of Virginia a few years ago. Shortly after crowning her successor, she drove 250 miles to seek revenge on her ex-boyfriend for jilting her & marrying another. She took along a pistol, a hammer, lighter fluid & matches.
When she arrived at his house & rang the doorbell, it was answered by his new father-in-law. Tracy faked having car trouble, & asked if she could use the telephone. Once inside the house, she took out her hammer & hit the father-in-law on the head. She stunned him, but didn’t knock him out.
What she didn’t realize was that he was an ex-secret service agent. He grabbed her & as they struggled, she pulled the pistol from her purse & tried to shoot him. That’s when the mother-in-law joined the fray & the two of them wrestled her to the floor, holding her until the police arrived.
I have a suspicion that Tracy, with that kind of disposition, was probably never in the running for the Miss Congeniality award. When questioned, she said that she was driven to seek revenge because she needed "inner peace."
It is amazing what people will say and do today for the sake of inner peace. Just about everything is excused in the search for personal well-being and peace.
As we continue our study of Philippians, we now are moving into a section that I think could fall under the heading of peace. In fact, this section will include that great verse about the peace that passes understanding. But before we can get to that aspect of inner peace we first need to begin with Paul’s plea for outer peace in the body.
1. The nature of the problem
The problem involves two women in the church. Odious and Soon-touchy.
The exact nature of the problem is not discussed in the text, but I think there are some conclusions we can draw.
A. These were not fringe people, but integral members of the church. V.
who have contended at my side in the cause of the gospel, along with Clement and the rest of my fellow workers, whose names are in the book of life.
That may well be why Paul addresses the problem so directly. Because of their importance in the congregation, their falling out would have a wide ranging effect.
B. Both parties were equally at fault
Note the language of verse 2. He carefully repeats himself - I plead with Euodia and I plead with Syntyche.
C. It was not doctrinal
Paul has just finished a section where he has been dealing with doctrinal issues and false teachers. Paul never holds back in addressing doctrinal deviance head on. However, here he doesn’t mention the issue at all. That leads me to believe that the issue was not doctrinal but rather a personal disagreement.
Types of problems
Personality Conflicts --
Tug of War -- Both have come to a decision, dig and won’t budge
Turf Wars -- I’m involved with this ministry and therefore its the most important ministry
Take my ball and go home
2. The solution to the problem
a. Verse 2 - agree with each other in the Lord
Don’t do Euodia’s way or Syntyche’s way
Do it Jesus’ way
b. Verse 3 - be willing to step in and help resolve
c. Remember who you’re dealing with