I grew up with a father who was a professional singer and who told me throughout my growing up years that I was tone-deaf and could not carry a note. When I graduated from U.C. Berkeley, my father asked what I would like for a graduation present. I told him that I would like voice lessons. He informed that would be a waste of money and bought me a stereo system instead. It was my wife who sang with me in the car who convinced me that I am not tone-deaf, and that I actually have a nice singing voice. Nevertheless, I remain a rather intimidated and insecure singer. In my insecurity, I have learned only to match the notes of the person singing beside me. I have not gained the confidence to harmonize.

Harmonizing has to do with singing different musical notes that sound pleasing together. I love listening to good harmony as singers hit different notes that blend together beautifully. I love listening to good harmony, but I have a hard time achieving it. Because of my musical insecurity I have a difficult time breaking away from simply copying the notes of the person singing beside me.

It seems to me that such insecurity often hits churches as well. Because of our own spiritual insecurities we tend to do one of two things: We tend to copy the spiritual thinking of the persons beside us, or we tend to reject the differences of the persons beside us.

But 1 Peter 3:8 tells us to “live in harmony with one another.” In the body of Christ we should expect that we will not all think alike. We will have different convictions about some things and different passions. We don’t need to copy one another. Neither should we reject each other. Instead, we should all be looking to see how Christ will blend us together into something beautiful and harmonious. (No wonder Peter follows up the instruction to us to live in harmony with each other with instructions to be sympathetic toward each other, and to love each other as brothers and sisters, and to be compassionate and humble.)



  1. debbietrippblog says :

    I love this blog. . .

  2. Kelli Randolph says :

    I kinda also think that being able to match the tone of the person next to you takes effort and talent too. That’s harmony in itself, ya know? You are not singing loud to drown them out, or too quiet to be faking it but simply joining your voice to the one beside you. Harmony. In both ways. And compassionate and humble. It’s your M.O.!

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