Let us, therefore, make every effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification. [Romans 14:19 NIV]
I find it interesting that one of the closest words for translation of the word “peace” in this text is “harmony.” Think about it, “do what leads to peace,” is the Biblical equivalent to AIM FOR HARMONY.
In truth, it is impossible to have peace if things aren’t in harmony. And, the Bible actually talks a lot about harmony. In the New Testament alone, there are over five verses in the Message translation that address the subject directly in connection with describing God’s plan for human relationships.
If you don’t have a musical background, you may not have immediate insight into the subject, but the concept of harmony is rather simple. For singers to acquire harmony, they need to sing the same melody in the same tune. It is an impossible feat to accomplish if you can’t hear the other person, and even then it can take years of practice to become great at harmony. As well, an interesting side note, the singing groups who are best at harmonizing seem to realize it is just as important to see the other singers in their group as it is to hear them.
What would happen if you aimed for harmony in your relationships?
To do so, you are going to need to actually hear what your spouse, child, or co-worker is saying. You’re going to need to see them; for who they really are. It may be time to stop trying to win the argument and just listen. Then, aim for harmony. It doesn’t mean you have to agree, it just means you need to say your “part” in the right tune. In adhering to this relationship-altering principle, it does not mean you can’t disagree, but it does mean you may need to change, soften, or improve your tone. Because it’s not so much what you say, but rather how you say it when you are aiming for harmony.
The bottomline, we achieve peace by learning to — even in disagreements — disagree agreeably.