Originally published Thursday, 07 February 2013.
I'm a pretty easy going person.
I get along with most people, almost everyone. It's not like I go around picking fights all the time. I feel pretty good about myself.
Until I read God's definition of living in harmony. Blessing, not cursing, when I feel wronged. Finding joy in others joy (not jealousy). Mourning when they are mourning (even if I've had it worse). Hanging out with all sorts of people. Cool and not so cool.
I feel like I'm back in Jr. High, and I'm the mean girl.
I feel it's my right to be annoyed or angry or curse (in my heart if not aloud) when I've been hurt. I don't want to be happy for you when you have something I wish I had. I don't want to weep with you, when I think you are being a big baby. And I would prefer to sit at the cool table.
This living in harmony business is gonna take me a while...
Filling up on His love: Psalm 86:5-15
5 You are forgiving and good, O Lord,
abounding in love to all who call to you.
6 Hear my prayer, O Lord;
listen to my cry for mercy.
7 In the day of my trouble I will call to you,
for you will answer me.
8 Among the gods there is none like you, O Lord;
no deeds can compare with yours.
9 All the nations you have made
will come and worship before you, O Lord;
they will bring glory to your name.
10 For you are great and do marvelous deeds;
you alone are God.
11 Teach me your way, O Lord,
and I will walk in your truth;
give me an undivided heart,
that I may fear your name.
12 I will praise you, O Lord my God, with all my heart;
I will glorify your name forever.
13 For great is your love toward me;
you have delivered me from the depths of the grave.[a]
14 The arrogant are attacking me, O God;
a band of ruthless men seeks my life—
men without regard for you.
15 But you, O Lord, are a compassionate and gracious God,
slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness.
God is abounding in love. Abounding.
“To occur or exist in great quantities or numbers. To be rich or well supplied. To be filled; teem.”
God is abounding in love.
Love that hears us when we call. Love that is forgiving and good. Love that answers in our time of trouble. Love that is compassionate, gracious, faithful, and slow to anger.
With that kind of love, I pray that I respond like the Psalmist.
Praising Him for his great and marvelous deeds. Asking that He teach me His ways, walking in His truth, with a heart undivided, solely dedicated to Him. Praising Him with all my heart. Glorifying His name forever. Because of his overflowing, abounding, mucho, plenteous love.
Pouring His Love Out on Others: Romans 12:14-16
14 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. 15 Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. 16 Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position.[a] Do not be conceited.
Continuing this passage of Romans from yesterday, where we were encouraged to “be devoted to one another in brotherly love” and “honor one another about yourselves.”
In this spirit of brotherly love, we are told to bless those who persecute us. Rejoice and mourn accordingly. Live in harmony. Don’t be proud, high and mighty, conceited.
The Psalmist in the previous passage was crying out in times of trouble. He was calling out from under the attacks of arrogant men.
The passage in Romans calls us to stand apart from the arrogant and proud. Be a reflection of the love of God that saves from strife, discord, attacks. Instead of bringing proud conflict into the lives of others.
Today’s challenge… Live in Harmony
Oooo! We might be tested in this one today! Be ready.
Bathe yourself in God’s love. In His forgiving, good, compassionate, gracious, slow to anger kind of love.
Today I challenge you to overlook a wrong or slight. Let it go. Not just until tomorrow. Forever.
If someone cuts you off on the freeway. Says something rude at work. Doesn’t do the dishes. Live in harmony. Be slow to anger and abounding in love.
Pray for the “God-sized forgiveness” in your life. That person or circumstance that will take more than a day to live in harmony with. Pray that God will fill you with his forgiving, good, compassionate, gracious, slow to anger kind of love as you deal with this long-term issue.
Now go out and get along with someone!