Disharmony and Fundraising
Disharmony kills fundraising. When there is a disturbance in your emotional force, it is difficult to think of anything else except your wounding. Your emotions are frayed—you can’t stop thinking about what he or she did. And you are busy rehearsing mental arguments. I confess, I have never lost a mental argument.
Or, perhaps the disharmony is because you have wounded someone—maybe you weren’t even aware of it until later.
Your disharmony might be with your spouse, a family member, your boss or a colleague. It doesn’t matter who—your funding action steps are frozen. Phone for an appointment? Not today!
If your disharmony is with a ministry colleague, you are not alone. The most common problem in missions is not language or culture but missionaries failing to get along with each other.
Whether you are the wounded one or you have done the wounding (or both), Philippians 4:2-3a gives a way out.
Euodia and Syntyche were not newcomers to Christ. Like you, they were seasoned fellow-workers who had “shared [Paul’s] struggle in the cause of the gospel.” Paul’s exhortation can guide us today.
Ignoring disharmony is not acceptable. Paul doesn’t sweep it under the rug. Sadly, too often gospel-workers are like one-celled amoebas edging their way around relational difficulties. Bible commentator William Barclay says, “A quarreling church is no church at all, for it is one from which Christ has been shut out.”
Paul urges Euodia and Syntyche to sort it out—just the two of them. Jesus said, “If your brother sins, go and show him his sin in private….” (Matthew 18:15). Note: “Show him his sin” does not mean cuss him out.
A third-party peace-maker may be needed. Paul asks an un-named true companion (perhaps Epaphroditus who carried this letter) to help Euodia and Syntyche.
Live in harmony in the Lord—what does that look like? The Greek expression is auto phroneo—one mind. Paul uses the same phrase in Philippians 2:2:
Make my joy complete by being of the same mind, maintaining the same love, united in spirit, intent on one purpose.
Must we agree on everything? No, living in harmony, like singing in harmony, means each voice contributes it’s unique part. When joined with other voices, the music is richer than if all sing the same note.
Whether you are the one who has been hurt or if you have hurt another, it is your move. Make a habit of resolving disharmony quickly! Let’s start with our own family, as shown in this classic story from Navigator history.
Former Navigator International Director, Lorne Sanny, awoke one morning under pressure. Before driving to his office for another day of challenging meetings with international leaders, his frustration inadvertently slipped out on his wife. He wasn’t mean, just “short” in his words with Lucy. Disharmony.
Driving to the office, the Holy Spirit convicted Lorne of sin (John 16:8). He rationalized: “I didn’t explode in anger. I just threw my weight around a little.” But God’s Spirit persisted. He immediately stopped at a pay phone (cell phones had not been invented) and called Lucy to apologize. He didn’t even wait until he reached his office!
How about you? Do you need to stop your busy life and make a call? Does a name come to mind? Don’t leave it there. Make it right.