Several years ago I decided to join some friends and train for a half marathon. I ran track in middle school and had a small amount of cross country experience in college for basketball conditioning. That was the extent of my running experience. I knew I didn’t like it and never would have imagined I would want to do it for fun. A half marathon, which is 13.1 miles, seemed like a daunting, impossible goal. Several of the friends joining me on this challenge were just as inexperienced as I was. Training began before the sun came up several mornings a week. We would meet at the high school track and walk several miles. It was early morning, but the walks and talks were so encouraging and helpful as we trained together to accomplish the goal. Eventually, the weekday walks on the track became longer 4 mile runs on the road, and Saturday runs were when we trained to run one more mile than last time. Every time we would run together we would encourage, push, and distract each other if necessary to overcome the mental and physical challenges that come with training for a half marathon. Together we had to learn to breathe, how to strike the pavement, how to hold our arms and hands to not restrict blood flow, how to run in different types of weather and terrain, how to stretch, how to dress, and even how to eat. No one ran alone. Finally, on race day, we accomplished what we set out to do. All of the blood, sweat, tears, patience, pushing, correction, and encouragement paid off as we crossed the finish line together. We did what we initially thought was impossible because we worked together. We never ran alone. We were better together.
God’s Word says in Psalm 133:1”See how good and pleasant it is when brothers and sisters live together in harmony!”
The definition of harmony is – joint, agreement
Some synonyms are accord, peace, friendship, cooperation, understanding, unity, like-mindedness, and oneness. Any of these words can take the place of the word harmony in the verse and still have the same thought.
In Acts chapter 6, we read about one of the problematic situations in the early church. The apostles were busily trying to meet the needs of the believers while spreading the Message of God. The Greek-speaking believers felt that the Hebrew speaking believers were neglecting their widows in the daily distribution of food and brought it to the attention of the apostles. As a result, it was decided that 7 men, full of the Spirit and wisdom would take on this responsibility so the apostles could focus on spreading the Word. Verse 5 says, “Everyone liked this idea.” Because everyone was willing to work together, the needs of the believers were met, the apostles were able to evangelize, and many more believers were added to the Church. They were better together.
We have all experienced the truth in our lives that agreement is the place of power. I personally see this daily as my husband, and I raise our five kids. Presenting a unified front in our parenting and decision making enables teamwork which allows us to be more effective. I also see this regularly as my children interact with one another. When everyone is kind, considerate, and excellent towards one another, it is much more enjoyable and positive.
As believers, we are better together when we walk in agreement with God’s Word as our standard. His absolute Truth is what leads and guides us to act in love. When we live together in harmony acting in obedience to God’s Word, the heart of God becomes our focus. Just as in the example of the apostles and the early church, we must endeavor to work together in unity and harmony with fellow believers to pursue the goal of reaching the lost for the Kingdom of God. We are better together and able to accomplish far more than we ever could on our own.
Devoted Devotional By Michelle Masteller