Vol. 3, No. 6
It was obvious that she (i.e., Christ's bride at Philippi) wasn't feeling her "normal" self. Typically, she was a hardworking, energetic and active (Philippians 1:5-6) lady, but in recent days, she was uncharacteristically weak and uncoordinated.
A family member suggested that she set up a doctor's appointment (Philippians 4:3). Her symptoms didn't demand an immediate visit to the ER, but they couldn't just be ignored either (Mark 3:17). That nagging "ache" served as overt evidence of a deeper, underlying problem. Then too, failure to get treatment might make her more susceptible to other, more serious, ailments that could threaten her entire system (1 Corinthians 12:26).
Her doctor, a trusted family practitioner, ran a few tests and confirmed his diagnosis -- she had suffered a small "fracture" (Philippians 4:2). As a result, he recommended a combination of therapies and scribbled (Hebrews 1:1-2; 2 Timothy 3:16) a prescription on his notepad -- Philippians 2:4-7:
Take A DAILY DOSE of joy. "Rejoice in the Lord always…" (v. 4). Unlike Paul, who could find joy within the confines of a Roman prison, some members of the Philippian fellowship experienced despair. They focused on the dispute (i.e., fracture) between Euodia and Syntyche (which in turn, affected the whole congregation). The apostle cautioned against this inappropriate emphasis and suggested that the saints needed to "keep on rejoicing" in view of their relationship with the Lord (Matthew 5:10-12).
EXERCISE gentleness. "Let your gentleness be known to all men…" (v. 5a). The word translated "gentleness" means strength under control and referred to the taming of a wild animal. When an animal was brought under control by a trainer, it retained all of its physical prowess, but it controlled the use of it. Euodia and Syntyche, like the other Philippians saints, must have had strong personal feelings, but needed to exercise control over them (2 Peter 1:6). Loosing control of their tempers and/or tongues would only exacerbate this congregational wound (Proverbs 29:11).
Remember that THE DOCTOR IS always ON CALL. "The Lord is at hand" (v. 5b). If she really wanted to help mend (John 5:6) the fracture, the church needed to remember the nearness of the Lord (Hebrews 13:5b-6; Psalm 119:151; Matthew 28:19; Acts 17:27) and that he genuinely cared about this situation (1 Peter 5:7; Hebrews 2:17). The realization of his present nearness would have a calming and reassuring effect.
Cut anxiety out of your DIET. "Be anxious for nothing…" (v. 6). The Greek word translated "anxious" means to draw in different directions. Some church members were pulled apart with worry over the disagreement between their two sisters in the Lord. Even though these women believed the same gospel, stood for the same doctrine and had their names in the Book of Life (Revelation 3:5), some Christians could only fret (Luke 10:41). Paul, under inspiration, suggested that this useless (Matthew 6:27) activity needed to be cut completely out of the Philippian spiritual diet.
Communicate your SYMPTOMS to the Great Physician. "...By prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God" (v. 7). The concerns of the saints were to be taken to the throne of God. Even though he was already aware of the Philippian fracture (Matthew 6:8), the church needed to step out in faith and leave this problem in his skillful hands (Daniel 6:10-11).
"There is a balm in Gilead to make the wounded whole; there is a balm in Gilead to heal the sin-sick soul…"
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