Jan and I were on a walk through our town. As we strolled along, I looked down at the pavement and noticed one of those small weights that get attached to the rim of a car wheel to balance its spin. When I saw the weight, I thought, “That car is out of balance.” If only one wheel of the four is not spinning in a state of balance, it causes unnecessary problems for how a vehicle moves over pavement, including the creation of excessive tire wear.
Our entire being is designed to work in a state of balance – body, soul, and spirit. When any single part is out of balance it throws us off-kilter. Paul wrote to the Corinthians “Be joyful. Grow to maturity. Encourage each other. Live in harmony and peace. Then the God of love and peace will be with you” (II Corinthians 13:11). The placement of the word “then” struck me as being important.
Harmony is another way of saying something is in balance. The word harmony (balance) used in this verse is defined as “to keep” or “cultivate” peace. Whenever we fail to keep or cultivate peace our spiritual life gets out of balance lacking harmony. That lack begins to affect our mind and eventually our body. It’s like the small weight I saw on the road. The car will move forward, but it is not doing so in a state of harmony with all the other moving parts.
Personal harmony, and the peace it produces, must be cultivated through an act of our will. It doesn’t just happen. We cultivate this state of being by rejecting lies that want to occupy our thoughts about God, ourselves, and other people and rejecting the unhealthy lifestyle habits that want to rule our bodies producing negative outcomes. The smallest decision to create harmony becomes the spiritual weight required to stabilize our lives as we move forward into the future.
I found it interesting to look at the progression of the verse I noted above. Joy, maturity, and encouragement get listed before harmony and peace arrive. The verse indicates that our attempt to live a life of joy, become spiritually mature, and be an encouragement to others will help create a personal harmony that will then allow the peace of God to accompany our lives no matter where we travel.