This was a fun one and I like the way it turned out.
The hardest thing about it was the title. Harmony had always been the working title but I couldn't find any way to jazz it up. It wasn't until after the poem had been written that I came up with the current title. I like the polarity between the words, fighting and harmony.
Fighting for Harmony
Based on 1 Corinthians 1:10; Romans 14:10, 19; Jude 1:19; Proverbs 20:19, 26:20; Matthew 18:15-17; Hebrews 13:17; 1 Thessalonians 5:12-13
United in purpose, in thoughts and decisions,
I beg you to be of one mind.
Let harmony flow so there are no divisions;
the church should be ever aligned.
Why criticize your brother's motive or action?
Why try to make him appear small?
His life does not need to meet your satisfaction
or precepts you've nailed to the wall.
Why, who made you judge and a jury demanding
your brother meets laws of your own?
One day we will all face true judgement when standing
before mighty God at his throne.
Agree to pursue what makes peace with your brother,
encouraging words are a start!
The worldly ones with no thought for another
are those who split churches apart.
A gossip shares secrets with those undiscerning;
avoid such a blowhard as friend.
Without any fuel raging fires stop burning;
no gossip brings tensions an end.
If any believer or brother has wronged you,
confront him to work issues out.
If he will not listen take others along to
be witnesses, ending all doubt.
Submit to your leaders whose only ambition
is keeping their eye on your soul.
With joy let them lead you with not one condition;
it profits you not, on the whole.
I urge you to honor the leaders who guide you,
their work is exceedingly hard.
Advising, instructing, for walking beside you —
esteem them with highest regard.
1 Corinthians 1:10 (NLT)
Let there be real harmony so there won’t be divisions in the church. I plead with you to be of one mind, united in thought and purpose.
Romans 14:10 (PH)
Why, then, criticize your brother’s actions, why try to make him look small? We shall all be judged one day, not by each other’s standards or even our own, but by the standard of Christ.
Romans 14:19 (Msg)
Let’s agree to use all our energy in getting along with each other. Help others with encouraging words; don’t drag them down by finding fault.
Jude 1:19 (Msg)
These are the ones who split churches, thinking only of themselves.
Proverbs 20:19 (NRSV)
A gossip reveals secrets; therefore do not associate with a babbler.
Proverbs 26:20 (LB)
Fire goes out for lack of fuel, and tensions disappear when gossip stops.
Matthew 18:15-17a (Msg)
If a fellow believer hurts you, go and tell him-work it out between the two of you. If he listens, you have made a friend. If he won’t listen, take one or two others along so that the presence of witnesses will keep things honest, and try again. If he still won’t listen, tell the church.
Hebrews 13:17 (Msg)
Be responsible to you pastoral leaders. Listen to their council. They are alert to the condition of your lives and work under the strict supervision of God. Contribute to the joy of their leadership, not its drudgery. Why would you want to make things harder for them?
1 Thessalonians 5:12-13a (Msg)
Honor those leaders who work so hard for you, who have been given the responsibility of urging and guiding you along in your obedience. Overwhelm them with appreciation and love!
NLT: New Living Translation • Ph: New Testament in Modern English by JB Phillips • Msg: The Message • NRSV: New Revised Standard Version • LB: Living Bible