Matthew 7:12 – The Golden Rule

Read Matthew 7:12

What is your first memory of the Golden Rule? For me, it was Sunday School. I can remember being in the “upper room”, so that must have been like 4th grade. (Funny story — that room and several others were converted years later to an office that David had as a pastor!) Rules are important to give us direction and ability to set boundaries.

The Golden Rule, the granddaddy of all rules, is really great wisdom. But, how many of us actually think through it on a regular basis? “Do to others whatever you would like them to do to you.” What images come to mind for you? Do you picture yourself involved, giving a friend a surprise “just because”gift because that’s what you would like to receive? Or do you see others, as in a strange man walking an elderly woman across a busy street?

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Ephesians 5:21-33 – Be a Spiritual Spouse

Read Ephesians 5:21-33

I realize some of you reading this may not be married now, ever, or any more, but I would guess you know married couples. It is a good reminder for us all how we should treat each other. With respect and love.

I’ve personally had struggle with this passage over the years because of a troubled first marriage. Without reliving all of that, suffice it to say that sometimes people misunderstand what it means to submit and to love as Paul teaches. When we hear that wives are to “submit,” it’s not as in bondage or self-sacrifice. I believe Paul is telling us to present ourselves for approval. As wives, we want to be pleasing to our husbands.  Continue reading “Ephesians 5:21-33 – Be a Spiritual Spouse”

Psalm 133 – Harmony

Read Psalm 133

Harmony in music is a beautiful blending of different tones, played simultaneously, to give the music a richness and sophistication not found with just a single note being played.

Harmony among people can be just as beautiful. The psalmist describes it as wonderful and pleasant. When God’s people are in harmony, there is a unity. We all have the same goal, to be more and more like Jesus.

Unfortunately unity is not constant. We have all been at odds with someone during our life. Maybe a disagreement left a wedge or differing viewpoints have caused tension. It’s a sad truth that people hurt people. You may have hurt someone without even knowing it. Just as likely, you may have been hurt by someone who had no intention of doing so.

To have harmony in a relationship is a beautiful thing indeed. How we do we handle it when our relationships are not harmonious, when dissonance and hurt take over?

Having served several churches over the years, I remember praying time and again for harmony and unity. Certain individuals would seem to thrive on stirring the pot, so to speak. There is one in every crowd, a church is no different.

Because people are people with their own ideas, experience, desires, and expectations, it is impossible to please everyone all of the time. That may be one of the hardest lessons I have had to learn over the years.

When things are going well and people are getting along, there is harmony. As soon as something happens to shift that, it is no longer wonderful and certainly not pleasant. It would seem that God’s intention for us is to live in unity, in harmony with one another.

The psalmist reminds us that harmony is precious. Harmony is refreshing. Indeed it is. As something that is precious, we need to care for it. I see here that keeping harmony should be a goal for each of us.

Are you struggling with issues of unity today? Are you feeling connected and in harmony with those you love?

Let’s pray. Lord you call us into relationship with you. Thank you that that is a safe place for us. Cleanse my heart of distractions and voices that do not speak your truth. I pray that you will help restore my relationships that are less than harmonious. Prepare our hearts for your reconciliation. Thank you that you are our mediator and guide. May I follow in the footsteps you lay before me today. In Jesus’ name. Amen.