Romans 12:16 Live in harmony with one another. Do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly. Never be wise in your own sight.
It was a diverse group of people. There were people of different ages, genders, ethnical backgrounds, and social and educational upbringings. They were set with the task. The conversation was going along great, people asking for other’s input, truly listening to their responses, and discovering new solutions and ways to accomplish the task set before them. It seemed everyone was participating, and great collaboration was happening. Until! Until one of the group members in their bold, audacious, even a bit aggressive way announced what they felt was the best solution. Both verbally and nonverbally with talking fast, big hand movements, proud stances and expressions, they said their idea was far superior. When the shock of the statement subsided a little, the leader asked them to give a bit more explanation as to the viability of their idea. They became even more aggressive, saying they felt very passionate about this idea and the group should just agree. It took a while for the group to recover from this break in harmony and collaboration, but they did, and taking all the diverse insights, opinions, and backgrounds, made a good decision.
Harmony is not uniformity or unison. Harmony is the blending and complement of differences to make a beautiful and pleasing arrangement. If you are musical, think of someone singing harmony. If you are into food, think of those complementary food parings like macaroni and cheese, chocolate and peanut butter, or ketchup on mac & cheese.
Harmony in life takes work. Like the story above, harmony can be squelched or lost when one person feels like all should conform to them, no blending, no paring, no listening or considering alternate ideas. In the Bible book of Romans the Apostle Paul was seeking to help two diverse groups find unity.
Romans 12:3 For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned.
Romans 12:19-10 Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good. Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor.
Romans 12:18 If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all.
Romans 14:19 So then, let us pursue what makes for peace and for mutual upbuilding.
Harmony is possible even in our diverse world. It takes listening, humility, and a willingness to adjust.
Colossians 3:12-14 Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony.
We live in a world that does not foster harmony. It polarizes and encourages us not to listen to people who are different from us. Yet God’s desire is for us to find harmony.
1 Peter 3:8 Finally, all of you, have unity of mind, sympathy, brotherly love, a tender heart, and a humble mind.
Psalms 133:1 Behold, how good and pleasant it iswhen brothers dwell in unity!
What could you do today to foster harmony?
Church can be a place where we learn and practice harmony. Especially at a church with some diversity. If you don’t regularly attend a church, we would like to invite you to view or visit Neighborhood Church. We are a diverse church and would love for you to enjoy life with us! Our website has all the information you need for times and locations of all our Sunday gatherings. You can also find us online at neighborhoodchurch.com. As well, if you would like to view any of our past worship gatherings or videos, visit our YouTube channel, or just search Neighborhood Church Cypress or Neighborhood Church Los Alamitos on their YouTube site.
Seeking to live in harmony along with you,