Reflections by the Sea ©
|“Put on then, as God's chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. “- Colossians 3:12-14. |
Most schools are out and many families will begin converging to the beach for a week or two of vacation. It is a happy time. A time that has been looked forward to by parents and children alike. There’s much to do. Everyone hoping for sunshine, good beach days, and family fun. Monuments, lighthouses, ice cream and fishing are always on everyone’s to- do list! But with all good intentions there can be a lot of time spent together which can be a blessing or a challenge. That is when everyone will need to be respectful, polite and helpful to ensure unity and harmony, keeping in mind the goal of having a great vacation together.
The definition of unity is harmony between people or groups. It appears to be an easily explained definition but it can be quite hard to live by those simple words. Many times we have to come together in unity to do good work, or to support a cause or to peacefully live in harmony in our own homes or yes, go on vacation together! To live under the umbrella of peace, harmony and unity takes a lot of godly patience. It is said that, “Harmony makes small things grow, and the lack of it makes great things decay”.
When a family or group is living in harmony, there is no strife. Instead there is love, patience, tolerance, understanding and offenses cannot exist. But when unity falls apart and each person feels they are more important than the other, harmony escapes and leaves turmoil in its wake. Within a family, strife can march in the front door and turn a happy family against each other very quickly. Then somebody has to eventually seek peace and with prayer and forgiveness, things can be repaired if everyone is willing. So how do you live in peace and harmony? The Bible gives explicit instructions on what to do. “Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.” Ephesians 4:31-32