April 19, 2013

Living in Harmony

Romans 12:9-21

Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited.
—Romans 12:16


Paul’s letter to the Romans is filled with theology. In the early part of the book, Paul spends a lot of time explaining who God is and what he’s done for us. Then Paul wrestles with “So what?” questions. He gives many commands as he shows how God’s love should affect our lives: Be joyful, patient, faithful, generous, hospitable. Bless, mourn, rejoice—in support of even your enemies.

Our God is a relational God, and he wants us to experience the blessing of being connected. We were never meant to be independent, self-sufficient, or isolated. In John 17, Jesus himself prays that we will have unity. He asks God to make us one, just as he is one with the Father and with the Holy Spirit. God calls us to live in harmony with one another—even those who are different from us.

And when people live in unity, others notice. Harmony is a powerful witness to the rest of the world. Years ago, after moving to a new town, our family naturally drew close to a congregation whose people showed up to help us paint and clean and move into our home. People willing to make our mess their mess were people with whom we naturally wanted to be involved in ministry.

Christ’s church is diverse. It’s full of people not like you or me, just as notes in a chord are not all the same. Can we work toward harmony?

Lord, forgive us for the sin of pride. Make us people who live in unity with those who are not like us. In Jesus, Amen.

About the author — Steven and Deb Koster

Steven and Deb Koster have a passion for marriages, families, and spiritual growth in the home. Both are ordained ministers in the Christian Reformed Church in North America. Steven formerly served as editor of Today and director of ReFrame's English-language outreach. Deb leads Family Fire, ReFrame’s family ministry at FamilyFire.com and on Facebook. The Kosters have three children.

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