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.
I 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.