I love to hear 4 part harmony in a quartet, what melodious notes please our ears when a harmonious tune is sung. Pentonics (a singing group) is all the rage now as they sing a Capella and harmonize beautifully. Harmony is so pleasing.
But you can have harmony visually as well. Have you ever seen a colour wheel with hundreds of colours each graduating softly into the next colour. The visual harmony is also pleasing.
Paul writes an instruction to church people:
Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited.
We are looking at the ‘one anothers’ of the Bible to discover how we as a church, a body and family of believers need to conduct ourselves with each other, how and in what manner we should relate to each other.
We have looked at love one another, the grandest theme of the one anothers, as it reflects who God truly is. And then there are following:
Encourage one another * the most uplifting one another
Serve one another *the most like Christ, the servant
And now today, Live in harmony with one another
All of the ‘one anothers’ are told to us as a command, not a suggestion. If we want to experience and have true Christian body life, this is how you have to do it. Live in harmony with one another.
Here are 4 Definitions of harmony
1. a combination of parts into a pleasing or orderly whole; congruity
2. agreement in feeling, action, ideas, interests, etc.; peaceable or friendly relations
3. Music the simultaneous sounding of two or more tones, esp. when satisfying to the ear, agreeable sounds
4. Def of harmony in a church –people living together peacefully
Let’s say there is a choir singing and it’s a beautiful song but one of the high tenors is way off key and it makes the whole choir sound dis-harmonious.Who is the problem? The high tenor! But who has the problem? The choir! It’s making the whole choir dis-harmonious
Who needs to change? The high tenor!
You see disharmony is an individual problem affecting the whole group. Maybe, a disruptive or disagreeable or discouraged Christian or stubborn or offended Christian or hot headed or it’s gotta’ be my way Christian affects the whole church. It affects the Church’s harmony, unitedness. Some people never see themselves as ‘off key’, everybody else is off but not them.
It happens. You can sing ‘off’ key, or a different tune or even different words, it’s all dis harmonious.
What do you do with the off key high tenors of the church:
Pray that they get laryngitis or pray that God takes them home? Tell them to leave the choir? Shun them? Put your earplugs in?
No, no, that isn’t God’s way. It isn’t the Church’s way.
What do you do with an ‘off’ note, disharmonious Church member?
1) Make sure it isn’t YOU singing off key and out of tune.
Sometimes when people disagree with us, we point the finger at them for disunity, disharmony and dissonance. When it is us, we’re not in tune or harmonious! Just because someone is different than us, they’re singing a different note (remember 4 part harmony takes 4 different notes), or they look different doesn’t mean they are disharmonious, it could be your note is off.
Jesus said when we’re looking at another person with a speck in his eye be sure to look at yourself, there could be a beam there. Church family living is not ‘all about me’ but rather it’s about us in harmony
What do you do with an ‘off’ note, disharmonious Church member?
2) Embrace that person and do all the ‘one anothers’ to him or her.
It is the opposite of what we want to do but it is God’s way to peaceable existence together. That’s the way to harmony, church family harmony.
The One Anothers
Think of it. If we all did the ‘one anothers’ to the off key high tenor, the disharmonious church member, don’t you think the disharmony would abate, diminish and maybe even go away.
The trouble is we sometimes deal with disharmony with more disharmony and enflame the disharmony fire with more gas. That doesn’t work, never will work so we shouldn’t do it that way. Rather, embrace the person.
Make every effort to live in peace with everyone and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord.
We need to focus on what we have in common, don’t focus on our differences. It is not uniformity we need but unity and we can have unity and harmony even in diversity. The Bible says the church is like a body, some folks are ears, others are eyes and some are hands. We are diverse and we are to live in harmony together. Use the note you play to harmonize with another different note, that’s harmony, that’s peace, that’s people living together peacefully, that’s the church.
Live in harmony with one another.
One more thing, in the essentials of our faith (like Christ our Saviour or our belief in the Bible) WE ARE IN TOTAL UNITY –no quarter given for diversity on the essentials, no allowance for error or different thoughts on the essentials. BUT in non-essentials, we have Liberty. In non-essentials like prophetic interpretations, like what version of the Bible we use etc. we have liberty, freedom with peace in diversity. In all things we have charity
IN ESSENTIALS -UNITY
IN NON-ESSENTIALS –LIBERTY
IN ALL THINGS -CHARITY
1 How good and pleasant it is
when God’s people live together in unity! In harmony!
Two ladies who lived in a convalescent center. Each had suffered an incapacitating stroke. Margaret's stroke left her left side restricted, while Ruth's stroke damaged her right side. Both of these ladies were accomplished pianists but had given up hope of ever playing again.
The director of the center sat them down at a piano and encouraged them to play solo pieces together. They did, and a beautiful friendship developed.
What a picture of the church's needing to work together and be in harmony together! What one member cannot do alone, there are different parts, different gifts, perhaps a whole church could do together & be in harmony.
One hundred pianos all tuned to the same fork are automatically tuned to each other. They are of one accord by being tuned, not to each other, but to another standard, they are tuned to the fork.
So one hundred worshipers meeting together, each one looking to Christ, tuned as it were to Christ, are in heart tuned to each other. Our tuning, our focus should be on Christ not on trying to be unified. We are in harmony together and closer together when we focus on Christ. You see when Christ is our focus I’ll see you as God sees you and you’ll see me as God sees me.
Whether it is a political party, a sports team, a family, or a church, unity, peace and harmony is found when they have something that they rally around. As you seek to have the same attitude Christ has about me, and I seek to hold the same opinion Christ has about you, we will grow in harmony.
God’s will is for us, the church, to sing in harmony, different parts, yes, but in harmony.