Harmony – agreement in feeling or opinion, accord.
This harmony means we are united. We are united in our purpose, which ultimately is pleasing to God. He calls us to love him, first and then to love one another. We are also in agreement with the plan of God. We want to walk together in brotherly love and share in the mission of Christ together. We have the same feelings one for the other. That feeling is love. Which in this context is more than feeling but a choice we make to love.
We are on one accord in our purpose. This means we seek what is best for the other’s welfare; we promote one another, and we delight in each other’s accomplishments. That means I don’t get jealous because you achieve success or something good in your life. In fact I learn to rejoice with you when you rejoice and I feel your sorrows when you are sorrowful. However, there are things that stand in our way of living out this mandate to be harmonious in our lives one toward the other.
What are some things that destroy harmony?
Quarrelling (Proverbs 17:13-15; Proverbs 17:18-20; Proverbs 13:9-11; Proverbs 25:17-19; Proverbs 19:13; Proverbs 20:3; Proverbs 21:9, 19; Proverbs 22:10; Proverbs 25:24; Proverbs 26:17; Proverbs 26:20-21; Isaiah 58:4; Isaiah 45:9; 1 Cor 3:3; 2 Tim 2:23-24; Titus 3:9, James 4:1-2)
If a man pays back evil for good, evil will never leave his house. Starting a quarrel is like breaching a dam; so drop the matter before a dispute breaks out. Acquitting the guilty and condemning the innocent— the LORD detests them both. – Proverbs 17:13-15
You are still worldly. For since there is jealousy and quarreling among you, are you not worldly? Are you not acting like mere men? – 1 Corinthians 3:3
Better to live on a corner of the roof than share a house with a quarrelsome wife… Better to live in a desert than with a quarrelsome and ill-tempered wife. Proverbs 21:9, 19
Devouring one another (demolish, destroy, consuming each other with our negative emotions) – Exodus 15:9; Psalm 83:4; Proverb 11:9; Proverbs 11:11; Galatians 5:14-16
The entire law is summed up in a single command: "Love your neighbor as yourself." If you keep on biting and devouring each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other. So I say, live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature. – Galatians 5:14-16
With his mouth the godless destroys his neighbor, but through knowledge the righteous escape – Proverbs 11:9
Through the blessing of the upright a city is exalted, but by the mouth of the wicked it is destroyed. -Proverbs 11:11
Lying about each other (false witness) – psalm 5:6, psalm 10:7; psalm 62:3-4; psalm 119:69; proverbs 6:8-9; proverbs 19:9; Deuteronomy 19:17-19, Proverbs 14:5-6
A truthful witness does not deceive, but a false witness pours out lies. The mocker seeks wisdom and finds none, but knowledge comes easily to the discerning. – Proverbs 14:5-6
How long will you assault a man? Would all of you throw him down—this leaning wall, this tottering fence? They fully intend to topple him from his lofty place; they take delight in lies. With their mouths they bless, but in their hearts they curse. – Psalm 62:3-4
Let me give you a footnote here. We often want to defend ourselves against the lies told against us and it is hard not to try and stop the rumors. Yet, we must take comfort in these next scriptures about what God will do to the liars in your life.
the two men involved in the dispute must stand in the presence of the LORD before the priests and the judges who are in office at the time. The judges must make a thorough investigation, and if the witness proves to be a liar, giving false testimony against his brother, then do to him as he intended to do to his brother. You must purge the evil from among you. – Deuteronomy 19:17-19
You destroy those who tell lies; bloodthirsty and deceitful men the LORD abhors. – Psalm 5:6
Envy – (resentment, jealousy, spite, desired what he had) proverbs 14:30, Mark 7:21-23, Mark 15:10; Galatians 5:21, 26; Philippians 1:14-16; Titus 3:3, 1 Timothy 6:3-5; James 3:14-16; 1 Peter 2:1-3
knowing it was out of envy that the chief priests had handed Jesus over to him. – Mark 15:10 and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God… Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other. – Galatians 5:21, 26
Because of my chains, most of the brothers in the Lord have been encouraged to speak the word of God more courageously and fearlessly. It is true that some preach Christ out of envy (greed/jealousy/spite/resentment) and rivalry (competition), but others out of goodwill. The latter do so in love, knowing that I am put here for the defense of the gospel. – Philippians 1:14-16
We’ve looked at the negative influences that keep us from being in unity with one another. Let me ask you a few question before we move on.
===Do you have control of the person that sits next to you in church?
===Do you have control of your husband?
===Do you have control of your kids, friends, co-workers?
===Do you have control of yourself?
The point to these questions is, you and I do not have control over what anyone else will do. We really don’t even have control over ourselves without the help of the Holy Spirit helping us to do what is right. The point? At some pivot moment we have to acknowledge these negative behaviors from others but we cannot allow them to keep us from doing what is right.
Come back next week for the next installment