With this in mind, my dearest friends (I wish so much I could be with you – you make me so happy, you’re my crowning achievement) – so friends, stay true to your commitment to Jesus. Euodia and Syntache, you two need to come to an agreement. And Syzygus, see what you can do to help them resolve their differences. They were both my co-workers, along with Clement and the others. They’re all awesome in my book.
Let Jesus make you into joyful people. Rejoice, I say! Be gentle with people. Jesus is right there, so don’t stress out! Bring what’s on your mind, along with your gratitude, to prayer. When you do – it’s beyond explaining how it happens – your mind and heart will be at peace, in touch with Jesus and with the eternal.
Finally, friends, focus on what’s true, on justice, on whole-hearted passion, on what’s worthwhile, on what’s excellent, and on what’s remarkable. Keep on doing these things the way you learned from my example, and you will have God’s peace.
Whenever people get together, no matter their good intentions, there are going to be differences, awesome as they all may be. The trick is not to let the differences become the focus. Rather the focus of a great movement is always on the goal and doing it with joy and passion. Here, Paul suggests six ways to get re-focused:
Voltaire said that “the great is the enemy of the good.” But I’m convinced he’s got it backwards, and as Jim Collins wrote more recently, “Good is the enemy of the great.” Good enough is very seldom remembered. Great changes everything. Constant arguments between members is a telling sign that a congregation is good enough – and it’s not going any farther. Focus on any or all of the above, and you will change everything.