The first thing that came to my mind when harmony was mentioned is an orchestra playing beautifully and someone on a horn playing sour notes. Or a choir singing in one accord and you being so touched, then there is one singing out of tune. It ruins the whole thing. The same thing applies to a contentious or bad attitude in human relations, be it a church, a family or the workplace.
When a choir sings the same words, the right notes and blends together it blesses the hearers. They want to be there and be a part of the performance. It holds true for churches too. When we blend together with godly attitudes, actions and words we bless those who come and they will want to be a part of the ministry.
As a pastor’s wife I know firsthand how harmful the lack of harmony is to a church and her ability to do God’s work. The ones that are just worried about “self”, want a “solo” and have all their way, or want to sing a different song and not work with the group do great damage.
Some folks forget the saying, “It’s not all about me”. The focus is on Christ and others. They fail to see or understand that what they are doing destroys God’s work and damages the lives of others. When a member of any family is out of sorts, negative, angry, or critical, it affects that family as a whole.
The Delphos love mentioned in the lesson is a wonderful point, because we are brothers and sisters in Christ and like it or not your church is your family too. That can backfire too, because unfortunately it is our tendency to treat our family worse than anyone else and show our rotten side, and that becomes the same attitude toward the church family. A person feels so close and comfortable to them that they take out their bad moods on their brothers and sisters in Christ.
There is a scripture that gives us a “stop and think where this is coming from!” check list. And that is, James 4: 14-18:
But if ye have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, glory not, and lie not against the truth.
This wisdom descendeth not from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish.
For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work.
But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be entreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy.
And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace.
This should be a wakeup call when for our attitudes, words and actions. If it is not of God it will be worldly, fleshly and the Bible even says “devilish“! Wow, that’s scary! One of the enemies to harmony is STRIFE. The scripture says there is “every evil work:” I don’t think many realize that they are doing evil, and we all know where evil comes from – Satan. So that means when we are not harmonious with others we are doing Satan’s work! There’s our clue that how we are acting is not of God!
Then He goes on in verse 17 to give us another checklist that tells us when our conduct is of Him We will be peaceable, gentle, easy to be approached or get along with, merciful, doing good works to others, not prejudice, and not being a hypocrite.
Verse 18 is the final key. The righteousness of Christ that is part of us through our salvation is planted in others by us allowing His peace or peacefulness to control us. Then and only then can we share that peace and affect others. If you don’t have the seeds you can’t plant them and if you can’t plant them you can’t grow them!
I believe this is a powerful scripture to memorize and even write down on a card to keep with you if you are having struggles in this area. Any contention, anger, bad mood or bad attitude should be a trigger for us to say, “Hey! This isn’t of God!” Only then can we begin to change and please Him.
We can look at harmony is the oil that greases the machinery of God’s work and allows it to run smoothly and efficiently!