As a teenage boy of the late 1960’s, I enjoyed listening to the harmony sung by the Beach Boys, The Beatles, and Simon & Garfunkel. To know that two or more voices were singing together and it sounded as one voice to me, was amazing to me. In the fifties, Doo-Wop music was popular for it’s harmonious sounds. And I’m sure, with some study, we would find throughout history, harmony has been sung since there was a song to sing. Now I’m not a musician or a student of music or music theory. I’m just a fan of those who can join in and produce an incredible sound.
har·mo·ny /ˈhärmənē/ noun
- the combination of simultaneously sounded musical notes to produce chords and chord progressions having a pleasing effect.
- Agreement; accord; harmonious relations
As noted above, the word harmony has more than one meaning. It is the second definition that has my attention.
As an observer of people and relationships, I remain concerned about our societal decay. Our inability or desire to make an effort to get along with one another. Hearts have to be changed.
I have to admit I was somewhat influenced by the hippies of the late 60’s. While I have never used drugs, I was attracted to the concept of loving one another and helping one another and when I became a Christian, in my mid-twenties, I realized I could do that through the love of Jesus. Instead of following the mantra of drugs, sex, and rock n roll, I embraced following Jesus and became what used to be called a “Jesus Freak”.
8 To sum up, all of you be harmonious, sympathetic, brotherly, kindhearted, and humble in spirit; 9 not returning evil for evil or insult for insult, but giving a blessing instead; for you were called for the very purpose that you might inherit a blessing. 1 Peter 3:8-9 NASB
It seems obvious to me, if we, as a society/community/church/family, don’t make an effort to live in harmony, we will be destroyed from within because of our own actions.
When I was reading the Book of 1 Peter, I was lasered in on Chapter 3, verses 8 and 9. It seemed to me in all the Scriptures, these two verses told me how I am supposed to live my life and show love to all mankind. While I will probably never have a world wide platform, I do have a one-on-one platform of how I treat those I come into contact with and you do too.
The Greek word for harmonious is homophron (ho-mo-fron) meaning to be of one mind, likeminded, concordant. The adjectives used in verse 8 were addressed to church folks. I, again, return to the theme that we, who have been redeemed and changed by the Lord Jesus Christ, should be the ones who lead and influence those we have contact with , to live out what the Scriptures teach us. We are to be that light in a dark place.
How would our world and those around us change if we DID what verse 8 and 9 called for us to do? What would happen if you ‘gave up’ a close parking space for an older person, or helped a young mother, who was trying to get her three kids into school/church/store? What would happen if you did not trade insults with someone in Walmart, who was trying to buy the same thing you were, but blessed them instead?
You see there are other verses that could be referenced to, as well, that would help us live in harmony with our neighbors, co-workers, and even strangers. Do you remember the Golden Rule, “In everything, therefore, treat people the same way you want them to treat you, for this is the Law and the Prophets.” Matthew 7:12? What of this concept found in Amos 3:3, “Can two walk together, unless they are agreed?” How are we going to get anywhere, how are we to build or grow anything UNLESS we are in agreement?
I’m not suggesting we all walk in ‘lock step’ but choose to be of the same mind. Each of us have been uniquely and wonderfully made, with individual preferences, but on important things, I believe we have to be cohesive and not destructive or argumentative.
Why should we do this? Why should we even try? Have we become calloused to wanting to be blessed by God? Do we want our young people to be continually killed by those who has little or no regard for human life? Do we want to see lives destroyed because someone failed to show concern and offer a helping hand? Do you want your son or daughter to become a person of integrity, good character, and good morals?
How about because it’s simply the right thing to do?
Colossians 3:14, “And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony.”