Courtesy Averts Conflict

I plead with Euodia and I plead with Syntyche
to agree with each other in the Lord.
                 —Philippians 4:2

On April 9, 1865, Brigadier General Joshua Chamberlain positioned Union soldiers on both sides of the road the conquered Confederate army would be traveling to surrender their arms at Appomattox Courthouse.

As the defeated troops came into view, Chamberlain ordered his men to come to attention and “carry arms” (a raising of weapons in a salute of respect). The Confederate soldiers, expecting to be taunted, were instead honored. General Gordon, in command of the Confederates, ordered a salute in return. What could have been a volatile encounter was avoided by Chamberlain’s courtesy.

There was a catfight in the Philippian church. Euodia and Syntyche were going at it, and it was ripping the fabric of unity. Hopefully, courtesy won, and they reconciled. Sadly, the only thing we know about them is that they quarreled.

Disagreement need not
be a declaration of war.

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