Seek Reconciliation

Read: Philippians 4:1-3

I entreat Euodia and I entreat Syntyche to agree in the Lord. (v. 2)

In 1983, Pope John Paul II went to prison to visit the man who had tried to kill him the year before. To many people in the world this was an astonishing act of forgiveness. But for the pope it was an outgrowth of his understanding of grace.

Forgiveness is a great test of whether you have understood the gospel of grace. When you experience conflict, one natural response is to be angry and defensive. But Paul reminds believers that if you have rooted your identity in the Lord, you will seek reconciliation. To be clear, this does not mean pursuing a relationship with an abuser, or someone you can’t trust. But it does mean releasing your bitterness towards them.

People who cannot forgive pay dearly for their anger and bitterness. It makes thanksgiving nearly impossible: those who are preoccupied with how they’ve been wronged ignore the mercies they’ve received. This is spiritually dangerous. If you know of two believers who are in conflict, urge them to reconcile if possible—as Paul does here with Euodia and Syntyche.

Imagine what our communities would look like if we showed each other the grace Christ showed us. It would be a taste of heaven, and a beautiful testimony to Christ’s work in our lives. Is there someone with whom you need to reconcile? Do it as an act of worship and a sign of gratitude.

As you pray, thank God for forgiving your debts. Ask him to show you how to forgive your debtors.

About the Author

Jane Olson is a college counselor and high school teacher. She lives in Portland, Oregon with her husband and children.

This entry is part 10 of 15 in the series Habits of a Thankful Heart