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Keys to harmonious relating

May 18, 2022

Daily Scripture

Romans 12:9-10, 12, 15-16, 18, 21

9 Love should be shown without pretending. Hate evil, and hold on to what is good. 10 Love each other like the members of your family. Be the best at showing honor to each other. 12 Be happy in your hope, stand your ground when you’re in trouble, and devote yourselves to prayer.
15 Be happy with those who are happy, and cry with those who are crying. 16 Consider everyone as equal, and don’t think that you’re better than anyone else.
18 If possible, to the best of your ability, live at peace with all people.
21 Don’t be defeated by evil, but defeat evil with good

Daily Reflection & Prayer

We often hear the phrase “church family,” based on passages like Romans 12:10 where Paul called Christians in Rome to “love each other like the members of your family.” But that call made no sense if actual families couldn’t love well through all of life’s challenges and stages. The principles behind the apostle’s message to the church speak with even greater power to couples as they work to build committed relationships for all seasons of life.

  • In Pastor Hamilton’s surveys, “’Sharing his or her feelings with me’ was on both [women’s and men’s] lists.” * Further inquiry showed that women and men often have different ideas of how that works. What does it take for both committed partners to be able to regularly “be happy with those who are happy, and cry with those who are crying”? (Many men in our culture shudder at the word “cry.”) How can you learn to respond helpfully to your mate’s emotional needs?
  • Paul also wrote, “Be the best at showing honor to each other.” At home, we’d often rather “be the best” at other traits, wouldn’t we? What inner fears and drives make it hard for you to honor a partner who has different ideas or tastes from yours? In The Message, verse 12 reads, “Don’t quit in hard times; pray all the harder.” ** Do you and your mate pray together? How have you, or can you, make it a habit to turn to God together, particularly during times of conflict or tension?

Lord God, let me keep growing my listening skills with the people I care about most, so that I can hear and care about their feelings rather than trying to argue them out of them. Amen.

GPS Insights

Picture of Shannon Starek

Shannon Starek

Shannon Starek serves as the Director of Discipleship at Resurrection Downtown. She loves to travel and has been to 49 states, 11 countries and lived in Vancouver, Canada for grad school! When not gallivanting all over the world, she lives in Liberty with her husband, Aaron, and two sons, Owen and Porter.

I love harmonizing. I have always enjoyed singing, but what I really love is adding harmony. I remember as a kid my mom would harmonize to every song on the radio. At times I’m sure I wondered why she didn’t just sing the melody, but over time her love of harmonizing rubbed off on me.

This love of harmony seems to have unconsciously spilled over to my son as well. He has been in orchestra this year and when he signed up to play an instrument, he didn’t pick the obvious choice of violin, but instead chose the viola. It’s essentially a second fiddle kind of instrument. You rarely have the melody, but instead round out the sound with harmony.

I looked at today’s passage from Romans 12 in The Message and it read like this: “practice playing second fiddle.” Isn’t that exactly what harmony is? Playing second fiddle? And yet, in my relationships it can sometimes be a lot harder to take this stance, to “play second fiddle.” I want what I want, I often lack patience, I want my voice to be heard. And yet when I think about this from a musical perspective, I realize that the harmony is heard just as much as the melody. Playing second fiddle isn’t less than, it actually adds beauty and richness to music and to life.

Whether with our co-workers, children, partners or friends, may we choose each day to harmonize with them as we practice playing second fiddle.

© 2024 Resurrection: A United Methodist Church. All Rights Reserved.
Scripture quotations are taken from The Common English Bible ©2011. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

* Hamilton, Adam. Love to Stay (p. 44). Abingdon Press. Kindle Edition.

** Peterson, Eugene H. The Message Numbered Edition Hardback. Navpress. Kindle Edition.