I began 2015 by choosing the theme word ‘Harmony.’ It was to be a reminder that, even when waiting for the things where I have prayed and hoped for God to move, that my life needs to be in harmony with his call. Only then does it play out as beautiful music and not cacophonous noise.
Over the last few weeks our church has begun a study of the early church in Acts. Combining those lessons with the lessons of my small group over the summer as we looked at ‘Respectable Sins,’ I have been reminded of the utmost importance of keeping our inner belief system and our outer actions in harmony. What we do is, truly, more important than what we say.
“For each tree is known by its own fruit. For figs are not gathered from thorn bushes, nor are grapes picked from a bramble bush. The good person out of the good treasure of his heart produces good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure produces evil, for out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks." Luke 6:44-46
I would love to sit here and type that what my heart says it believes is always in harmony with the actions that follow. But, I would be lying. I can say that I serve a God of immense patience (Ex 34:6) and who has saved me from an impatient spirit. Yet, I still find myself losing it with the pre-schooler who needs to be told twelve times to put on his shoes. I can truly believe that beauty comes from an understanding of my place as God’s creation, and still attempt to use charm to get my way (Prov 31:30). I can voice a demand for justice for the poor, and walk passed the beggar on the street without even seeing him. My inner compass says that everyone needs to hear the gospel, but my outer actions do not always tell even my closest friends. Harmony? Not so much.
My grandfather would define integrity as “action and words being lined up.” So in many ways, integrity equals harmony. I am so grateful that God is using the sermons and Bible lessons in my life to draw me more in line. The more we seek to live in harmony with God, the more we will see where we miss the mark. That is one of the characteristics of discipleship—it continues to show us where we fall short. I’m thankful for the reminders. It illumines the path to make it easier to find my way. Maybe, today, you needed the reminder as well.
Father thank you when you show me where I fall short of living in harmony with you. Help me to always be willing to hear your conviction and adjust my life to be in harmony with yours. Amen.