Yes, I also ask you, true partner, to help these women who have contended for the gospel at my side, along with Clement and the rest of my coworkers whose names are in the book of life.
A true spiritual partner in the faith ALWAYS strives for unity in the body not disunity. He/she is looking to bring people together not drive them further apart. He/she is looking for ways to foster agreement in the Lord. The scripture condemns the dissensious in a profound way, yet encourages the encourager of unity. Not the one who enforces uniformity but the one who is seeking to foster oneness, togetherness, true friendships in the body. True friends do not always agree but they definitely share common, fundamental truths that hold their relationship together in spite of petty discrepancies and differences. To be an encourager in the body, and all are called to such, is to be one who is working to help others within the congregation and even within the broader context of Christian faith to get along on salient matters and avoid the petty opinions and so-called ‘offenses’ that tend to divide.
Paul told Timothy to ‘avoid petty controversies’. They are the seed of divisions and lead away from unity and peace. It is in our Christian unity that we find strength together through Christ and in disunity that we experience weakness and ineffectiveness.
But avoid foolish controversies, genealogies, dissensions, and quarrels about the law, for they are unprofitable and worthless. As for a person who stirs up division, after warning him once and then twice, have nothing more to do with him, knowing that such a person is warped and sinful; he is self-condemned.