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Posts Tagged ‘harmony’

It is true – no matter how much we enjoy harmony in some relationships, in others we will have discord. And that can be difficult to handle.

The trouble is that so much of our interaction with others builds on what has happened in the past and what that means to us. At least 80% of our communication with others is unconscious. Our body language reflects the story that we have in our heads about each other. And the story in our head is built on our interpretation of past events. We believe that what we THINK is actually TRUE.

A typical example of this is the hospital receptionist I met last week who, before I opened my mouth, clearly lived by the belief that all patients are trouble. She was so conditioned to the story in her head that she could not see or hear me in the reality of the moment.

We recognise the pattern: ‘You always say that ‘. . . ‘You never do anything’  . . . ‘You are wrong / stupid / irritating / lazy . . .’

And so we slip into a pattern of thinking and behaving that escalates along the same path each time.

No surprise that we get the same outcome – friction.

Albert Einstein said

Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results

So how can we break the patterns and begin to get different results in our relationships?

Paul spells out some really practical advice in his letter to the Philippians.

Put into practice what you learned from me, what you heard and saw and realized.

. . . you’ll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious—the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse.

Do that, and God, who makes everything work together, will work you into his most excellent harmonies.

Mahatma Ghandi said “Be the change you want to see”.  Break the pattern. Write down three positive things about the person you have the biggest problems with – the best not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly, things to praise, not things to curse. Meditate on them.

As you change the way you think about the person you will find you can change the way you behave towards them. The pattern is broken and your relationship can begin to heal.

How interesting that the solution lies within our own grasp!

And the outcome:

a sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down.

Can you believe it . . .  and do you want it . . . ?

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Celebrate God all day, every day. I mean, revel in him! Make it as clear as you can to all you meet that you’re on their side, working with them and not against them. Help them see that the Master is about to arrive. He could show up any minute!

'Harmony' by Charlotte Segal

Don’t fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It’s wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life.

Summing it all up, friends, I’d say you’ll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious—the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse. Put into practice what you learned from me, what you heard and saw and realized. Do that, and God, who makes everything work together, will work you into his most excellent harmonies.

We travelled 1000 miles by car over the weekend to celebrate our nephew’s wedding. 4 generations together.

Great Grandpa chose this scripture from Philippians 4:4-9, to be read by his grand-daughter for her brother. She read form Grannie’s bible.

Grannie died last June.

6 great-grandchildren, age 4 and under, brought their special sense of life to the wedding feast.

Grannie and Grandpa prayed for us all regularly throughout all the ups and downs of life. Always making it clear they were on our side, working with us, not against us – the richest inheritance anyone could receive.

We are the same family and yet all very different. The beauty of the weekend was in the sense of belonging we felt together. We rejoice in the love we share for one another and acknowledge our individual responsibility to put into practice the things we learned, heard, saw and realised.

Harmony is a complex thing that emerges and is sustained by positive effort.

As you reflect on this, you can listen to amazing harmonies here. This is for you, Phil – I enjoyed our chat together 🙂

And, as we listen, maybe God has something to say to us about what we can do to sustain harmony in our families throughout the generations . . .

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