Live in harmony with one another. Do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly. Never be wise in your own sight.

Romans 12: 16

 

Harmonious living in the body of Christ is a very different creature than the concept of harmony that is often portrayed in our culture where it is frequently discussed in terms that relate to compromise. It is expressed in the idea of not making waves, of seeking the middle ground, and of peaceful coexistence. These ideas sound good and the image of the calm, restrained communication that should result promises a more civil society. Yet there is a flaw in this idea, for we humans don’t actually function well in this sort of environment, and honesty, truth, and righteousness suffer under the requirement to surrender God’s values to the world’s ethics.

 

It seems that there are two primary requirements for remaining true to God’s word while continuing to live in harmony with others in the world. The first involves an attitude of total submission. We need to remain continually humble before the Lord’s mighty capacity to communicate accurately and honestly and our own flawed skill in this area. Christ speaks to our hearts and into this world with language that demonstrates His total love and His willingness to go to the lowest of places and to embrace the least lovely of people in order to bring them into the presence of God. We need to continually realize that each of us is the recipient of this sort of absolute grace; then, we need to give it, in Christ’s name, to others.

 

Next we should stay continually aware of the true source for all of our wisdom, understanding, and capacity to solve challenges and problems. Every skill, talent, and gift that I posses was granted to me by God, my Creator. The wisdom that forms the foundation of my thinking comes from His word, and any ability that I have to understand and to apply that wisdom comes as a result of the instruction and the guidance that God’s Spirit continually provides. The Lord does want to see people living in harmony; however, His harmony is focused on truth and righteousness, and it is centered on Christ.

 

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