What do you do in a relationship when you can not agree? It sure can be a struggle. Big disagreements can take a toll in a marriage, at work, and with our kids. I had to learn along the way, both at work and at home. Some desires I let go easily, and others I held onto hoping to get my way.
I discovered over the years that the real joy of any relationship blossoms when you are acting in unison for the Lord’s purposes. The pure joy of harmony in thought and action is what the Lord desires for us all. He wants us to deeply think of others when making decisions. The Apostle Paul writes about this in his letter to the Philippians:
Philippians 2:2-4 “Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. 4 Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.”
Harmony is Plural
Have you ever thought to yourself, I can fix it on my own. I said that to often in my mid 20’s when I cycled through life being happy, sad, or depressed about many things. Things were not going my way. I had moved into an apartment, living alone for the first time ever, with no one to answer for my behavior. There was no external motivating force to ground me, and I felt stuck in uninteresting first job. I tried to force what I wanted in my life without others input, and it got me in a lot of spiritual trouble. I had to learn, over the next 10 years, how to better follow God’s purpose in my life. Thankfully, there were many others to help me along the way.
What I did not realized then about life was that it takes a great harmony to succeed. Now in my mid 40’s, it is easier to see God’s design for my life. Like a great maestro, God puts multiple people in our lives to grow us and fashion us into something beautiful. Without this harmony, we would miss the work of God in ourselves and the others around us. We would miss the keen joy of Christian fellowship. I found out, ironically, that it is only in plurality that we can be unified in purpose and love.
Harmony Needs Fostering
Harmony is not without its work. We need to present our day to the Lord, and ask Him to guide us on the right spiritual path. It is not easy for an orchestra to bring all the various instruments together to play a great piece of music. It takes dedicated practice and training. The same devotion is needed within our marriages, families, at work, and in the church body. We need to be a people who look to the other in love, and ask ourselves how we could live in harmony. We need to rely on the mature or experienced to help guide us in those areas that we struggle. Over the years, I have cherished parenting advice from my small group and a colleague at work. They have been working on my weak areas and helping me be strong. I needed all the harmony that I could get at bedtime with three boys!
- List or name the most important things at home that are not harmonious?
- Knowing this list, how can you plan to foster harmony at home?
- How can you foster harmony at work?
God’s power is often shown through His unified church, and the Apostle Paul takes this unity very seriously. Paul records one of the early churches disagreements. He implores them to live in harmony for the sake of the gospel and common fellowship.
Philippians 4:2-3 “I urge Euodia and I urge Syntyche to live in harmony in the Lord.
3. Indeed, true companion, I ask you also to help these women who have shared my struggle in the cause of the gospel, together with Clement also and the rest of my fellow workers, whose names are in the book of life.”
- Are there situations in church in which you have a hard time living harmoniously with others?
- Thinking of yourself, what can you do to be in more harmony with those around you?
- How can you help others live in harmony at church?
New American Standard Bible: 1995 update. 1995 (Php 4:2-3). LaHabra, CA: The Lockman Foundation.
The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. 2016 (Php 2:2–4). Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.
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