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Summary: As Christians, we fully understand that it is important to Play Nice With Others. Can I tell you that’s a concept that is much harder from some than it is for others!

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TITLE: PLACE NICE WITH OTHERS

SCRIPTURE: ACTS 15:36-41

I am not sure what has been going on with me the past few weeks, but it seems like I have been getting irritated rather easily. Lately, things seem to bother me all the time. Usually that is an indicator for me to spend more time in the Word as well as in Prayer. I have been very careful the past few weeks not to speak quickly and ensure I take the time for that “PREGNANT PAUSE” before speaking, especially when the conversation is aggravating me. Is it just me or has anyone else ever experienced one of those times in your life where you seemed like you were always bothered and annoyed?

• You don’t know why

• Most of these things did not bother you before

• Maybe you don’t realize you are stressing about things

• Therefore external things seem to abnormally bother you

I have done much SELF-REFLECTION the past few days because I do realize that someone is always watching me, waiting for me to say the wrong thing, ready to jump out of the woods and say “YOU SUPPOSE TO BE A CHIRSTIAN.” As Christians, we fully understand that it is important to Play Nice With Others. Can I tell you that’s a concept that is much harder from some than it is for others!

Twenty five years ago author ROBERT FULGHUM wrote a book entitled, “ALL I REALLY NEED TO KNOW, I LEARNED IN KINDERGARTEN.” It was immediately a smashing success. The book contained observations and rules such as:

• Share everything

• Play fair

• Don't hit people

• Put things back where you found them

• When you go out into the world - Watch out for traffic

• Hold hands, and stick together

• When practiced these are good rules that help us live together

Christianity is Diverse - so many different people, and so many different backgrounds.

• Older and Younger

• Rich and Not so Rich

• Saved Long and Saved a short period of time

• However, no matter what the circumstances, we all come here and set everything aside to worship Jesus Christ

• Yet conflict does arise

Sometimes CONFLICT IS NOT ALWAYS EXTERNAL. Every now and then we experience INTERNAL conflict. There are times were the ENEMY is not out there somewhere seeking whom he may devour - but the Enemy is IN-A-ME.

• When you know who your enemy is, you will not take him lightly

• When you take up God’s armor, you are ready to enter the battle

• When you fight in God’s strength, you will not be defeated

• Sometimes you have to simply fight yourself

King Saul had this internal struggle. The Bible tells us that every now and then he would begin to fight his own personal demons. Can I footnote here and tell you that everything we see around us in society, in the media is not the devil. The things we see people do and then the holier than thou saints talking about we need to cast out the Demon -- Can I tell you it is not always a demon – Mental Illness is real!

• We can help more people when we realize that

• We can lead more people to Christ when we realize it is a mental issue

• We in the Church push more people off the bridge by slinging Oil instead of calling a Crisis Hot Line

• We in the Church give more people enough Scripture to cause them to Jump instead of Sitting them down and taking them somewhere to get some help

When we encounter those around us having a Mental Breakdown or “SHOWING OUT” – there are times you need to call Sis. Stephanie Newman first and then call me. Sometimes we Pastors think because we have been called to the ministry than we are equipped to handle every situation in the Church. Can I tell you there are a whole lot of people more qualified in many areas than me that are in this Church this morning. Those Pastors that think they have to do it all are the very ones that don’t know how to Play Nice With Others.

Remember in I SAMEUL 18th Chapter King Saul would have an evil spirit fall upon him, he would be restless, everything and everybody would aggravate him. We are told in the text that King Saul would call David who was a young lad at that time. David would begin to play the instruments that would eventually calm King Saul’s spirit. It was an internal struggle that bothered Saul that he had to deal with. Some of us can relate because it is a daily internal struggle. All is not lost you can overcome and have the victory.

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