Peace of Mind - Remain in Unity
Philippians 4:2-3 "I beseech Euodias, and beseech Syntyche, that they be of the same mind in the Lord. And I intreat thee also, true yokefellow, help those women which laboured with me in the gospel, with Clement also, and with other my fellowlabourers, whose names are in the book of life."
Verse one of this passage commands us to "stand fast in the Lord." We called that principle, "Resolve to Stand." For the second principle, we will see that in order to live with biblical peace, you must "Remain in Unity". The first principle deals with us being right with God. The second deals with us being right with others.
According to this devotional's text, there was a conflict brewing between two ladies, Euodias and Syntyche. It is impossible to have peace in your heart if you have conflict with others. Notice that Paul doesn't even mention the cause of the conflict. Apparently, it wasn't important enough for God to put in His Word. That should tell us that the cause behind our conflicts is not as important as having the unity. Romans 12:18-19 commands us to "live peaceably with all men. Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mind; I will repay, saith the Lord."
We lose the sweetness of our peace with God when we live in conflict with others. If you are a breathing human, odds are someone has wronged you in the past. They sinned against you. They slandered you. They gossip about you. We as sinful beings crave self-justification. We stew about the wrongs others have done against us, allowing them to morph into the dark clouds that rain on our day. These thoughts become the booms of thunder that keep us awake at night.
You will never experience true peace of mind until you choose to remain in unity. God places the responsibility on you to as much as possible, live peaceably with all other people. This is especially important if the person who has wronged you is a believer. I pity the heart who values their self-righteousness more than the sinner's soul. Praise God that was not His attitude when He saw His only Son being mocked, scorned, and ultimately crucified for sins He never committed. Our forgiveness of sins meant more to God than His very life.
"But what about the wrongs they've done! I can't just forget that." You're right. You can't. But you can delegate it. Choosing to hold the thoughts of bitterness and self-righteousness is robbing God of His place as Judge of all the earth. Plead your cause to Him alone, then leave it there. It's His responsibility now. James 4:11-12 says, "Speak not evil one of another, brethren. He that speaketh evil of his brother, and judgeth his brother, speaketh evil of the law, and judgeth the law: but if thou judge the law, thou art not a doer of the law, but a judge. There is one lawgiver, who is able to save and to destroy: who art thou that judgest another?" It's not our place to judge the evildoer. It's God's.
Is your heart in constant turmoil because of relationships you know aren't right? Have you done your part to live peaceably with as much that lies within you? Have you given God their wrongs and slanders in exchange for His peace and justice? You cannot have peace and bitterness in the same Christian. You cannot be right with God and wrong with others.
To have peace, you must resolve to stand. Determine today to do right despite the consequences and despite how you feel. Second, you must remain in unity. Do your part to forgive, to love, and to live peaceably with all men.