Yes, those who live in Harmony, Minnesota have heard all the puns. “Finally, dear, we are in harmony!” “Can we be in harmony on this?” “Let’s see if we can sing in harmony.” Elsie and I took a day trip to this wonderful little town of 973 people because we had heard that there was a large Amish contingent of families living in and around Harmony. When we arrived we found a business that took tourists on tours of Amish farms and stopped along the way to shop for the fabulous, Amish-made goods. We took the tour and spent three hours learning about the Amish and their way of life. It’s a simple but very demanding life. They don’t believe in using electricity or motorized vehicles so everything is done by hand and farming is done by horse-drawn equipment. Travel is by horse and buggy. Only men wear shoes. Women and children are barefoot. (I’m not sure why and neither was our tour guide.) Their attire is drab with no colors other than black, navy, or gray. Men have beards and women wear head coverings. The products they produce and sell are amazing! Their furniture, quilts, and clothing are extraordinary. Their baked goods, jams, jellies, and pickles are to die for!
How about you and me? Are we living in harmony with one another? Are you in harmony with your spouse, your children, your parents, your church? Living in harmony is challenging in this day of deep divisions within our nation. Here are some thoughts from the Bible on how to live in harmony with others. Let me start by defining harmony. The dictionary gives several definitions: a musical term, a parallel arrangement of the four Gospels in the Bible, and an agreement whereby we are in one accord. The last definition is the closest to the Bible’s definition of harmony.
Here’s what the Bible says about harmony. Romans 12:16-18 exhorts us to “Live in harmony with one another. Do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly. Never be wise in your own sight. Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all. If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all.” So harmony involves living peaceably with others. 1 Peter 3:8 tells us to “Finally, all of you, have unity of mind, sympathy, brotherly love, a tender heart, and a humble mind.” So Peter describes harmony as being in unity with others. Notice that both Paul and Peter go beyond external actions to describe harmony as an attitude of the heart. Harmony flows from a heart that is tender-hearted not haughty, humble not wise in its own eyes, and loving not given to revenge.
I repeat, are you in harmony with others in your life? If not, harmony starts with you, your heart attitude. Are you humble, tender-hearted, and loving? If not, ask God to give you those qualities and give you the harmony with others you desire.
You CAN live in harmony without moving there,