Reading: Philippians 4:2
I plead with Euodia and I plead with Syntyche to be of the same mind in the Lord.


In May, 1976, Jim McCoy and Willis Hatfield shook hands in a public ceremony dedicating a monument to six victims of the infamous feud that marked their families in American history. The Hatfield/McCoy feud was front-page news in the 1880’s.

It ran for ten years in the hills of Kentucky, costing the lives of a hundred men, women, and children. No one is quite sure what started the feud. Some cite Civil War tensions: the McCoys sympathized with the Union; the Hatfields with the Confederacy. Others say it began when the McCoys blamed the Hatfields for stealing hogs.

A fight often outlives its cause. Feuds often take root in churches. The results are spectacular, tragic, and predictable. No winner can truly be declared and casualties litter the landscape. Church feuds are rarely settled with a single battle. They tend toward guerilla warfare that drags on as testimony is lost and opportunities evaporate.

I think Paul was trying to head off a church feud in (Philippians 4:2). It’s almost as if Paul is saying, “Now stop it, you two!” Church folks could learn something from the Hatfields and McCoys. We can be truly reconciled to one another. Jim McCoy died Feb. 11, 1984, at age 99. He bore no grudges and had his burial handled by the Hatfield Funeral Home in Toler, Kentucky.


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