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
Family life can get rough. Whether by biological connection or covenantal agreement, the people with whom we live in closest proximity often experience our worst selves. There are days when our pride gets the best of us, where selfishness kicks in, and where egos run the show. Sometimes Church family works the same way, which is why Paul instructs believers in Rome to “live in harmony with one another.”
Here, the word for harmony refers to peace, unity, and wholeness. This is living in such a full way, where joy and delight abound in healthy relationships. But healthy relationships don’t happen by just keeping peace with one another. Notice how Paul commands believers to “live in” peace. Living in harmony is more than keeping the peace. Living in harmony is making peace which requires dying to self, confronting when necessary, and calling the family to live in greater wholeness as God designed us to live.
Choosing to make peace isn’t easy. “Sweeping things under the rug” rather than asserting what is right may seem to defuse the situation for a moment, but there’s a reason we use this phrase – whatever is under the rug is still there. Ignoring or dismissing wrongs may appear easier than confronting or confessing wrongs but without bringing the wrong into the light, it cannot be healed.
Forgiveness is a beautiful part of following Jesus. It is possible for us to come back into harmony with our brothers and sisters in Christ when we die to our pride, confess our sin, and receive forgiveness from God and others. Today, live in harmony by walking humbly. Ask the Lord to reveal if there is something you need to ask forgiveness for in order to intentionally live in harmony with others around you.
By Yvonne Biel