Live in Harmony

Live in Harmony
Ought – issue against anyone
Picture of a pair of tigers for the harmony bible study Mark 11:25

When you stand to pray, if you have anything against anyone, forgive him. Then your Father in heaven will forgive your sins also.
Live in harmony – from Mark 11:25 (NLV)

Can We Live in Harmony?

Mark 11:25-26 The Disciple’s Bible (TDB) And whensoever ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have aught G1536 against any one; that your Father also who is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses. 26 But if ye do not forgive, neither will your Father who is in heaven forgive your trespasses.

Mark 11:25-26 Living Oracles NT (LONT) And when you pray, forgive, if you have matter of complaint against any; that your Father, who is in heaven, may also forgive you your trespasses. But if you do not forgive, neither will your Father, who is in heaven, forgive your trespasses.

Is it possible to live in harmony today? Does it matter what others believe or to whom they pray / worship? Our focus in this study is solely on what you do. In Mark 11:25, Jesus says, if you have aught / ought {a complaint, an issue, anger, something or anything} against anyone, forgive. Take the responsibility, take the ownership and forgive them; it may be difficult, but forgive them. If you want forgiveness from God, forgive others.

Psalm 133:1-3 New Living Translation (NLT) How wonderful and pleasant it is when brothers live together in harmony! 2 For harmony is as precious as the anointing oil that was poured over Aaron’s head, that ran down his beard and onto the border of his robe. 3 Harmony is as refreshing as the dew from Mount Hermon that falls on the mountains of Zion. And there the Lord has pronounced his blessing, even life everlasting.

Do you have ought or aught with anyone? Why be angry, why hold grudges, why not work it out so we can live in harmony with each other? Living in harmony is pleasant, it is precious and refreshing. The word ought means many things when translated from five Greek words:

  1. G1163 δεῖ dei (dei`) (also deon deh-on’) v. 1. it is (was, etc.) necessary (as binding). Necessity established by the counsel and decree of God, especially by that purpose of his which relates to the salvation of men by the intervention of Christ and which is disclosed in the Old Testament prophecies concerning what Christ was destined finally to undergo, his sufferings, death, resurrection, ascension. Should; be necessary (as binding); (impersonal verb) it is necessary, must; there is need. Mark 13:14. Luke 12:12; 13:14, 16; 18:1; 24:26. John 4:20. Acts 5:29; 20:35; 24:19; 25:10, 24; 26:9. Romans 8:26; 12:3. 1 Corinthians 8:2. 2 Corinthians 2:3. Ephesians 6:20. Colossians 4:4, 6. 1 Thessalonians 4:1. 2 Thessalonians 3:7. 1 Timothy 5:13. Titus 1:11. Hebrews 2:1. 2 Peter 3:11.
  2. G1536 εἰ τίς ei tis (ei tis’) cond. 1. if any; whoever, whatever. It is binding, it is necessary, it is proper; it is inevitable. 2. aught – Any part, the smallest; a jot or tittle. Mark 8:23; 11:25. Acts 24:19.
  3. G3784 ὀφείλω opheilo (of-ei’-lo) (or (in certain tenses), its prolonged form opheileo of-ei-leh’-o) v. 1. to owe (finacially) 2. (figuratively) to be under obligation, indebted (ought, must, should) 3. (morally) to fail in duty 4. metaph. the goodwill due. John 13:14; 19:7. Acts 17:29. Romans 15:1. 1 Corinthians 11:7, 10. 2 Corinthians 12:11, 14. Ephesians 5:28. Hebrews 5:3, 12. 1 John 2:6; 3:16; 4:11. 3 John 1:8.
  4. G5100 τίς tis (tis’) p/i. 1. some or any person or object; anyone; anything. 2. a certain one, someone, anyone. 3. some or any person or object: – a (kind {of}) any ({man} {thing} thing at {all}) certain ({thing}) {divers} he (every) {man} one (X {thing}) {ought} + {partly} some ({man} {-body} {-thing} {-what}) (+ that no-) {thing} what ({-soever}) X {wherewith} whom {[-soever]} whose ([-soever]). Matthew 5:23; 21:3. Acts 4:32; 28:19. Philemon 1:18.
  5. G5534 χρή chre (khray’) v. 1. it needs (must or should) be 2. it behooves 3. it is necessary; proper, fitting. James 3:10

My whole being takes pleasure in three things, and these are beautiful to the Lord and to human beings: harmony among brothers and sisters, friendship among neighbors, and a wife and husband who adapt to each other. My whole being despises three types of persons, and I am angered by the way they live: an arrogant poor person, a rich liar, an old adulterer who never learns.

Live in Harmony
Fellow Christian has ought against you
Picture of a pair of macaws for the harmony bible study Romans 12:16

Live in harmony (peace) with one another.
from Romans 12:16

Matthew 5:21-26 Open English Bible (OEB) You have heard that to our ancestors it was said — ‘You must not commit murder,’ and ‘Whoever commits murder will be brought to trial.’ But I say to you that anyone who is angry at their brother or sister will be brought to trial; and whoever insults G4469 their brother or sister will be brought before the High Council, while whoever calls them a fool will be in danger of the fires of Gehenna Hell. Therefore, when presenting your gift at the altar G2379, if even there you remember that your brother or sister has something against you, leave your gift there, before the altar, go and be reconciled to them, first, then come and present your gift. Be ready to make friends with your opponent, even when you meet them on your way to the court; otherwise they might hand you over to the judge, and the judge to the judicial officer, and you will be thrown into prison. I tell you, you will not come out until you have paid the last cent.
G4469 KJV ‘ whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca’ ῥακά rhaka (rhak-ah’) aram. 1. O empty one, i.e. thou worthless or empty one; “you are no good or good for nothing” (as a term of utter vilification). Hell– In Judaism, Gehenna (or Ge-hinnom) is a fiery place where the wicked are punished after they die or on Judgment Day, a figurative equivalent for “Hell.” G2379 θυσιαστήριον thusiasterion (thoo-see-as-tay’-ree-on) n. 1. a place of sacrifice, i.e. an altar; a place to meet with God.

Matthew 5:23-24 Webster Bible (NWB) If therefore thou art offering thy gift at the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hath aught against thee, 24 leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way, first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift.

Are you doing your best to live in harmony with other believers? Does a fellow Christian have ought with you? The King James and many early translators of Matthew 5:23 use the phrase “thy brother hath ought against thee”. Some translations change the spelling to the more appropriate “aught” and Noah Webster states in 1828 dictionary edition, ‘This word should not be written ought.’ A brief explanation: the word ‘ought’ translated from the Greek has over 22 different meanings; not once is it in reference to someone having something [a complaint, issue, , etc.] against you.

Do what you must to live in harmony, is the Holy Spirit minding you of someone that has something against you? Do not delay or hesitate to go to that person and resolve the matter, do not wait.


  • Barnes’ Notes – Matthew 5:23-24 – [Thy brother] Any man, especially any fellow-worshipper. Anyone of the same religious society. [Hath aught] Is offended, or thinks he has been injured by you in any manner.
  • Jewish New Testament Commentary by David H. Stern – Matthew 5:23-24 – Traditional Judaism expresses this idea thusly in the Mishna: “Yom-Kippur [the Day of Atonement] atones for a person’s transgressions against God, but it does not atone for his transgressions against his fellow-man until he appeases him.” (Yoma 8:9)

Romans 12:14-16 J.B. Phillips New Testament (PHILLIPS) And as for those who try to make your life a misery, bless them. Don’t curse, bless. 15 Share the happiness of those who are happy, the sorrow of those who are sad. 16 Live in harmony with each other. Don’t become snobbish but take a real interest in ordinary people. Don’t become set in your own opinions.

Scriptures to read and study

Colossians 3:1-17 (focus verses: 12-17); Matthew 6:5-15 (focus verses: 14-15); Romans 15:1-6 (focus verses: 5-6); Colossians 3:12-17 (focus verses: 12-14); Romans 14:14-23 (focus verses: 19); Ephesians 4:25-32 (focus verses: 31-32); Romans 12:9-21 (focus verses: 14-16); Philippians 2:1-4 (focus verse: 2)

Live in Harmony

Matthew 18:15-17 New Century Version (NCV) “If your fellow believer sins against you, go and tell him in private what he did wrong. If he listens to you, you have helped that person to be your brother or sister again. 16 But if he refuses to listen, go to him again and take one or two other people with you. ‘Every case may be proved by two or three witnesses.’ 17 If he refuses to listen to them, tell the church. If he refuses to listen to the church, then treat him like a person who does not believe in God or like a tax collector.

As I close this study meditate on this; be happy, of good comfort and joyful. Stay encouraged, do your best to resolve issues, disagreements and opinions between each other quickly. Live in harmony and peace; and the God of love and peace will be with you. Now may the God Who gives the power of patient endurance (steadfastness) and Who supplies encouragement, grant you to live in such mutual harmony and such full sympathy with one another, loving each other as a family in accord with Christ Jesus. Be of one-mind in the Spirit and be blessed—Tim.

Related articles:

Forgive Each Other | Christian Life

Question for “Live in Harmony”: Do you live in harmony with everyone especially other believers?

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