In these times when we are so polarized by politics, a pandemic, and social issues, we would do well to remember the words of Woody to Sid in Toy Story, “Play Nice!”
How do we do that?
Instructions for “Playing Nicely” given by the Apostle Paul:
Genuinely love others (even people with whom you disagree.)
Hate what is wrong (even if someone in your political party does it.)
Serve the Lord enthusiasticly.
Be patient in trouble.
Always be welcoming.
Bless those who hurt you. Don’t curse them. Pray God will bless them.
Rejoice with those who rejoice,
Weep for those who weep.
Live peaceably with each other (even if you disagree).
Hang out with regular folk.
Don’t think you know more than everyone else. You don’t.
Don’t take revenge or pay back evil for evil.
Honor those around you.
Feed and care for those who persecute you.
Conquer evil by doing good.
(Based on Romans 12:9-21)
We may look at this list and think, “Playing nice is hard.” But we have a living God residing within us. Paul earlier in his writing encouraged us to allow God to transform us into a new person by changing the way we think (Romans 12:2). We have been made anew. We have the mind of Christ (I Corinthians 2:16). Sin is no longer our master (Romans 6:14). We have been equipped with every spiritual gift blessing. We have been equipped to play nicely.
Boys and girls, as we skip into this play ground called life, let us play nicely with each other. We don’t need to all agree. We don’t need to all look the same. We don’t all have to worship the same. Uniformity is not a prerequisite for niceness.
Remember our children are watching. The world is watching. So PLAY NICE!