When the Harmony is right
Listening to a beautiful piece of music, the notes on the instruments are woven together to sound like one. Voices complimenting each other so tightly, in one accord, it sounds like one voice. Music becomes more powerful and more effective touching the heart with more emotion when there is harmony.
When different instruments play different notes but their frequencies compliment each other, harmony is created. One melody can be lovely, but add additional harmonies, alternate melodies, bass notes, and supporting chord structures, and music is elevated to a spiritual experience.
Harmony is all about working together
Harmony makes a difference in musical relationships. Harmony makes a difference in our spiritual relationships, too. How we treat each other plays a big role in how we are in harmony with each other. Just like in music, when the frequencies are fighting against each other dischord is created. The beauty of a band, orchestra, or a choir of singers is when they work together supporting each other, not when each part is trying to do it’s own thing.
Harmony in the Body of Christ
In several of Paul’s letters in the New Testament, he directs believers to live in harmony with each other by ‘being of one mind, united in thought and purpose” like in 1 Corinthians 1:10.
Harmony is not about you taking center stage
Additionally, in Romans chapters 12-15, Paul gives us a great context of how to live in harmony with each other despite our differences. In chapter 12, describing how Christians should live together and how to treat each other, Paul talks about living in harmony by not thinking too highly of yourself over others.
Live in harmony with each other. Don’t be too proud to enjoy the company of ordinary people. And don’t think you know it all!Romans 12: 16
Paul goes on to describe respecting those in authority and loving others in chapter 13. But then, he shows us how to handle differences of opinion when it comes to different practices or beliefs in chapter 14. In verses 14-20, he talks about honoring each other despite differences of practice.
I know and am convinced on the authority of the Lord Jesus that no food, in and of itself, is wrong to eat. But if someone believes it is wrong, then for that person it is wrong. 15 And if another believer is distressed by what you eat, you are not acting in love if you eat it. Don’t let your eating ruin someone for whom Christ died. 16 Then you will not be criticized for doing something you believe is good. 17 For the Kingdom of God is not a matter of what we eat or drink, but of living a life of goodness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. 18 If you serve Christ with this attitude, you will please God, and others will approve of you, too. 19 So then, let us aim for harmony in the church and try to build each other up.20 Don’t tear apart the work of God over what you eat. Remember, all foods are acceptable, but it is wrong to eat something if it makes another person stumble.Romans 14:14-20
The heart of the Kingdom of God is not disagreements over external practices or doctrinal differences and proving who’s ‘right’ or who’s ‘wrong, but rather, serving Christ through honoring each other even in the midst of our differences. We aim for harmony when we build each other up.
Harmony is achieved when we consider others.
That’s when we’re creating beautiful music together!
Harmony grows when we live to please others
Paul concludes his line of thinking in chapter 15 when he tells us to consider other believers and not just to please ourselves. Just like a musician must listen and play in tune with her fellow band members in order to create music in harmony, we must also honor the fellow believers around us to create harmony in the Body of Christ. “Even Christ did not live to please himself” Romans 15:3.
How is Harmony possible when I don’t even like some believers or agree with them?
Good question. God is the ONLY source of patience and endurance that allows us to live this way. It’s only by living in the power of Holy Spirit that we are able to accomplish this mission of glorifying Him as one voice.
May God, who gives this patience and encouragement, help you live in complete harmony with each other, as is fitting for followers of Christ Jesus. 6 Then all of you can join together with one voice, giving praise and glory to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.Romans 15:5-6
Unity will flow as you grow in harmony by considering others even in your differences. We can experience oneness just as Jesus prayed for all believers. This is the Kingdom of God- not a denomination, not a certain spiritual interpretation, or a particular political affiliation achieving a certain outcome- but The Kingdom of God becoming real and alive in us!