Philippians (12): Dealing with Personal Conflicts

Date: 10/14/2012
More audio from All Saints Church
Type: Sunday Sermon
Topic: Conflicts
Organization: All Saints
Price: FREE

Philippians (12): Dealing with Personal Conflicts

Philippians 4:2–9 GS trans. - I urge Euodia and I urge Syntyche to think together in the Lord.  4:3 Yes, and I ask you also, my yoke-fellow, take hold of these women, for they have struggled beside me in the work of the gospel, together with Clement and the rest of my co-workers, whose names are in the book of life.
    4:4 [You all] continually be glad [that you are] in the Lord; again I will repeat, be glad. 4:5 [You all] Let your gentle, patient side be seen by everyone. The Lord is near. 4:6 Stop worrying about things and pray about everything specifically with thankfulness so that what you ask for [instead of worry about] is made known to God.4:7 And [then] the peace of God, which exceeds all your thinking about [the problems], will protect your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. 4:8 Last of these [encouragements], beloved, [in such problems] envision whatever is true, whatever is honest, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable, [see in this] what is excellent and glorious. 4:9 Keep on putting into practice the things that you have been discipled in and received and heard and seen in me, and the God of peace will be with you.

The Principles of Dealing with Personal Conflicts
1) Personal Conflicts are a Reality in the Church (v2). In verses 2-9, Paul calls out two women by name who are in conflict. They are disrupting the peace of the church. Though he has great love and affection for them, he instructs them in the process of restoring peace between them and those affected in the church.
2) Pastoral Interventions are a Requirement in the Church (v3,9). He tells a key leader in the church, “my yoke-fellow” to not let them continue to disrupt unity. This co-laborer may have been Luke or Silas or Epaphroditus. He was to hold those in disharmony accountable. Even more, Paul called them to remember his modeling of loving, patient gentleness in working out unity (v9).
3) Peaceful Solutions Result from Changing Personal, Mental Patterns (v6-8). Paul does not say one of these ladies is right and the other is wrong. Many personal conflicts are not simplistic. Rather, he provides a series of actions to help overcome problems: a) be glad, b) be gentle, c) exchange worries for prayers, d) positively count and “see” (“logizomai” 1Cor. 13:11) what is true, good and beautiful even in conflict.

The Process of Restoring Peace in Personal Conflicts
A. Keep on being glad in the Lord. v4
    B. Keep on showing gentle patience. v5
        C. Don’t worry but pray with thankfulness. v6
            X The Peace of God will protect you. v7
        C’. Don’t envision evil, but truth, goodness, and beauty. v8
    B’. Keep on practicing what I modeled [loving, gentle patience]. v9a
A’. Keep the God of peace with you. v9b

Gregg Strawbridge Gregg Strawbridge, Ph.D., is the pastor of All Saints Church in Lancaster, PA. He became a committed follower of Jesus Christ at age 20, discipled in the context of a University Navigator Ministry. As a result of personal discipleship he went on to study at Columbia Biblical Seminary (M.A., Columbia, SC, 1990), as well as receive a Ph.D. in education and philosophy... read more