Monday, December 19, 2011

Peace and Harmony

by Aleta Kay

          In my last post I started a study of the book of Philippians. Chapter two tells us we need to be in agreement with each other. Harmony is important in music but also in relationships. There is so much dissension and disharmony in the world today. When finances get tight, harmony seems to rush out the family door like the battering winds of a hurricane.
           It seems we are most cruel to those we claim to love when times are bad, while we treat neighbors and strangers as rare gifts. There is something dreadfully wrong with this picture. It has always baffled me that people can behave this way.
          Philippians tells us we are to have the mind of Christ. This is not easy to do because it is hard for us to keep our minds on our Lord. Life has so many distractions and things that scream for our attention. Our little ones cry; the bill collectors call; the car breaks down; the flu is going around; and on and on. So how do you keep your focus on Christ, allowing your mind to soak up His thoughts and attitudes with all this chaos? How do you keep harmony alive when you feel like giving up?
          First, you need to realize that all the worry in the world won’t change any of the above situations. Worry is a complete, total waste of time and energy. Secondly, you need to realize that all of that worry can cause you serious health problems which will only add to all of the above. Thirdly, you need to place a much higher value on your family relationships. Someone has to set the atmosphere of peace. The greater the strain, the greater the need for peace.
          Play peaceful, soothing music, preferably hymns that will help increase your faith: “Joyful, Joyful, We Adore Thee,” “Great Is Thy Faithfulness,” “Amazing Grace,” “What a Friend We Have in Jesus,” etc. Some contemporary worship songs are helpful: “As the Deer;” “Shout to the Lord;” “Breathe,” to name a few.
          Create an atmosphere of caring and cooperation. Make a duty roster and explain to children that everyone is needed, and everyone must have some responsibility for keeping things calm and upbeat. Plan family fun times. Play games together. Do jigsaw puzzles; make posters; reach out to someone worse off than you and give them a bag of canned goods. Make a card for them. Watch a movie together (on a DVD you already have). Listen to each other’s feelings with compassion, not criticism or judgmentalism. Be supportive of each other. Now more than ever, you need each other.
          All of these things are having the mind of Christ because these are the things He would do. These are things that will bring peace and contentment in times of trouble. You can do it. Just don’t leave Jesus out of your life. Things really do go better with Jesus, even in the midst of trials.

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