"But I think it is necessary to send back to you Epaphroditus, my brother, co-worker and fellow soldier, who is also your messenger, whom you sent to take care of my needs." (Philippians 2:25 NIV)
My wife and I were recently at a conference for church leaders. It is probably my favourite gathering of this type because we get to meet many of our friends and fellow ministers of the gospel from various parts of the world. We get to hang out for four days being friends, catching up and sometimes sharing our burdens as leaders in the Body of Christ. This puts me in mind of the relationship that Paul had with Epaphroditus, or Eppie as he was known to his close friends.
Paul, used three words to describe the relationship he had developed with Eppie. These three words speak of the levels of influence that they had on each other. First, Eppie was his brother, one of many brothers. Second, Eppie wasn't just a brother, he became a co-worker with Paul in his mission. Third, not only was he a co-labourer, he became fellow-soldier. This speaks to me of an even deeper level of relationship, which is created when you are connected to someone in a battle against a common enemy - whether it be sickness, financial worries, relationship difficulties, or whatever the crisis may be.
It seems to me that in our fragmented world where the value of independence is at a high premium one of our greatest needs relationally is for fellow-soldiers. We are in need of people that we can rely on to 'have our back' in the midst of challenge and crisis.
Because we are part of the Body of Christ we all have brothers and sisters. Some of us serve with other Christians, either in the church or outside, so we have co-workers. But do we have fellow-soldiers in our lives? Do you need a fellow-soldier in your life? Then be a fellow-soldier in someone else’s life. You'll be blessed with deep and meaningful relationships.
This archived article was written by Ramesh Naraine for release in Jan, 2013. Circumstances and situations may have changed regarding the author, locations and ministries. This content may therefore be outdated or misinformed.
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