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Let All Be Harmonious – What’s that mean?


In a previous post we noted that conflict can’t be avoided but in it we are commanded to all live in harmony. When we do, we will be better for it. If harmony is that important, perhaps we should examine what that means.

Harmony Like an Orchestra - What it Means for the Church to be HarmoniousI already likened it, in the previous post, to an orchestra with different instruments coordinating their sounds. But, there is more to it than that. It goes deeper to the way one thinks about being in the orchestra. Each person must understand that they are part of something bigger than themselves. Each person must see themselves as a member of a group, not a soloist. Each person must realize that what they do will affect the quality of the music they make.

When we examine the original words used in the two passages under consideration, we see that harmony is indeed about the way we think.

Rom. 12:16 – autos (the same) phroneo (from the word phren which means the mind)

1 Pet. 3:8 – homophron – homos (the same) phron (from the word phren which means the mind)

In dealing with conflict, we must gain perspective. It isn’t about “feeling” good but “thinking” right. Nor is it about thinking the same, as in agreeing on issues, but thinking the same in regard to what really matters, the higher principles in the kingdom.

Let me suggest some ways we should all think that will help us live in harmony:

  • We are all recipients of the same grace of God. … No one is better than the other.
  • We are all responsible to the same God. … No one is more or less accountable than the other.
  • We are all retrofitted by the same Spirit to each have a part. … No one is less important or less needed than the other.

When we come together on this basis, with this perspective, we can’t help but to accept one another with all of our differences. We will want to add into each other’s lives for the common good, not destroy one another by pettiness.

In the next post, we will get a little more specific about how to live in harmony. You can subscribe to this blog to receive e-mail notification of new posts.


5 Replies to “Let All Be Harmonious – What’s that mean?”

  1. The Church is so very fragmented and factious that harmony in Christ’s “bride” will never occur… at least those who are left on earth after He “catches up” the true believers. When church leadership at the single body of believers is so legalistic as to requirements for church “membership” where’s the harmony from those who lead? They drive sincere believers away.

    • I agree, Winston, that we will probably not see true harmony in the church universal on this side of eternity. But, there are and will be some local churches that do experience this kind of harmony at least some of the time. As the first post in this series noted, that doesn’t mean there is no conflict but that we are able to work through that conflict and still come together and be better for it. To be sure, there are many churches that do things that fight against this kind of unity … like legalism as you mentioned. But, there are some groups that at least work toward it and, through the power of the Holy Spirit within them, find it to be a reality when they apply biblical principles in their Body.

      The next post will provide some specifics of the environment in which this kind of harmony can exist. No church or individual believer will be perfect at it because we are all self-centered, fallen humans saved by grace. But, we must grab hold of the Apostle Paul’s perspective in Philippians 3 — “Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on …”

      I truly do not believe God would command us to do something, which is how 1 Peter 3:8 and Romans 12:16 are worded, if it wasn’t possible. Let’s remember verses like 2 Peter 1:3 — “His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness.” If we seek to be unified in our own strength and according to our own standards, it will not happen. But, when we believers pull on His divine power, anything is possible!

      • Amen. Have experienced this kind of harmony. Even when others fail us, we must forget what’s behind & press on. Individually responsible no matter what those around us do. “If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.” rom.12.18 Note “as far as it depends on you” in the verse. That’s personal accountability. Can’t control actions/reactions of others though might have some influence. Can yield selves to God & follow His ways.

  2. I have taken time to wade through individual local church’s Statement of Faith and doctrinal beliefs, and churches outside my area as well, to see if they square with the Scriptures. Just yesterday I read a local church’s doctrinal beliefs and found egregious error where the pastor is the only authoritative role in the church followed by “deacons” but no mention of Bishop/Elder authoritative leadership. The Bible is clear in 1 Timothy and Titus that the only church authority lies in Bishop/Elder (for spiritual matters) and Deacons (for temporal matters) in the church. A “pastor” is a spiritual gifting of God to be the under-shephard of the church for Christ Jesus. For a pastor to set himself up to be the local church authority is a very dangerous situation to those blind sheep in that body of believers… it rings of Christ’s warning of the Nicolaitans in Revelation. It also creates a Protestant “Pope”… all things go through him alone. The Bible speaks clearly about a plurality of Bishop/Elder and Deacons… and sets forth the qualifications for those roles.

    • Hi Winston. What you wrote of, church governance, is just one area in which believers might disagree … and it’s been in debate through church history. We might have strong beliefs about what Scripture says but others don’t always see it that way. In some cases, they might not have truly studied Scripture and just follow tradition or do what seems expedient. Regardless, it brings us to the point of how we should respond. Are we going to let these disagreements divide or apply the higher principles laid out in God’s Word. The next post in this series gives principles from God’s Word we need to apply in these kinds of situations. Of course, it isn’t easy when we strongly disagree with something but we are not to be reliant on our own power to live in harmony with others. And, it doesn’t mean we have to change our belief or opinion. The principles in that post take us beyond the issues to focusing on the person(s) involved and maintaining relationship despite the differences. Does that mean there will never be a parting of ways because of such a strong difference in beliefs? Realistically, no. But, here is what Romans 12:18 says, “If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.”

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