Monday, July 23, 2007

A Priceless Display

Philippians 4:2 I plead with Euodia and I plead with Syntyche to agree with each other in the Lord.

Interesting. We find that Paul is basically asking these two women to decide to agree, to be of one accord. "Just make up your mind and do it."

Our culture is so "feeling" oriented and dominated. We are essentially told to be controlled by our feelings and not vice versa. You know, the old "if it feels good, do it" paradigm. Consequently we see marriages dissolve because "we don't feel in love any more." Anger is allowed - it just needs to be redirected. "Punch the living daylights out of that pillow instead." (Granted, better to punch a pillow than a wife, but how about not giving ourselves to anger at all?) We find disrespect accepted as a viable display of opinion.

All of that is, however, in absolute contradiction with the Word of God. (Imagine that.) The counsel given by our Creator is to rule over one's spirit; it is better than capturing a whole city. (Proverbs 16:32)

The Biblical paradigm assumes an understanding and knowledge that this is possible. Our culture does not. "But I just don't feel that way about this situation." Or we hear, "Something inside of me just can't agree - I can't accept that." "The hurt, the insecurity - that is who I am and I am not able to think differently."

"Stuff and nonsense" according to the Word. Paul wouldn't plead with Euodia and Syntyche if it wasn't within their grasp. He wouldn't tell them to determine to agree in the Lord. That's the same counsel given to a man and wife, to children and parents, to brethren and leaders. It's the kind of counsel that is foreign to our way of thinking. But it is the very counsel that is imperative for healthy relationships, for church growth, and for the prosperity of the gospel.

Unity. It means laying aside our will for the greater good - changing our mind so we can agree for a larger purpose. It is costly. That's what makes it so unusual, so special, so priceless.

That's what the world is longing to see.


Blogger thisrequiresthought said...

good words.thanks for them!
here are a few more good words:

happy birthday, darlene.

10:07 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Darlene, You are just a beautiful woman of God and I "glean" from so much of your writings. I wanted to tell you that your latest entry, "A Priceless Display" has so much wisdom in it and I am praying about sharing it with close friends who are believers but who are struggling terribly in their marriage.....much for the same reasons you spoke of. Pray that she will receive it positively and God will speak to her heart (and her husband's). Thank you again and God bless.

10:09 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

hi mom.

hope you had a nice birthday.

i'm booked to come home on december 13. hooray. except for the plane part. i hate that part. but hooray anyway!

8:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh, your birthday is today? Well, a very happy birthday to you! May God bless you with his greatest blessing -- a loving family to share it with!

9:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Darlene, This was such an apropos post. I just...just, (within the last half hour!!!), finished discussing this very issue with three teen girls!!!Of course I am not allowed to use Scripture, but I agree wholeheartedly that we are too given over to our emotions. I even wrote recently on my site how emotions have become deified by our culture.
Excellent post...and happy birthday!
catzndogz9 (Michele)

9:16 AM  

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