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your gut. Tell me you are getting better. Now there is more of you but that's about it. It doesn't work that way. I mean anybody with any sense sees that we have to maintain things in life. We have to fight for every inch that we have, you see. Unity is just like that. #Let me say this: unity is not conformity. Does that make sense to you? You don't have to be like me for us to have unity. God knows that he just didn't want more than one of me and He probably doesn't want more than one of you. My grandfather always said that if two people are just alike, you don't need one of them. That makes good sense. That would be boring if everybody was just like you. It's not conformity. It doesn't mean that everybody in this church has to think exactly alike. They have to act alike. They have to believe exactly the same way about every little jot and tittle. That's not what He is talking about. God put us together. He knows we're not going to be able to accomplish that task. So it's not uniformity or conformity and it is not deadlock. It's not any of those things. #Listen to what it says in (Ephesians 4) . It talks about a bond of peace. It says 'I, therefore, the prisoner of the Lord beseech ye that you walk worthy of the vocation wherewith you are called with all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forebearing one another in love'. Then in verse 3 it says 'endeavoring to keep the unity of the spirit in the bond of peace'. Let me paraphrase. God said, 'Now I know this is going to be a lot of work but you have to do it. I know you are going to have to struggle and your are going to have to strive and you are going to have to cause yourself to do all kinds of things and jump through hoops and act ways you didn't want to act, but you have to do everything that is necessary, endeavoring. And if you look up that word, it is a powerful word. I mean putting everything you have into it, endeavoring to keep that bond of peace. We are bound, aren't we? We are bound by the precious blood of Jesus Christ and nobody can break those bonds but we work really hard at it. He said there is a bond of peace. #He also said in Ecclesiasties that there is some value here, a practical value. He said two are better than one. Have you ever heard that phrase that two heads are better than one? Guess where it came from? Right here. Because they have good rewards for their labor. Wouldn't you rather work side by side with somebody than to have to work by yourself? It makes the time go faster and it is just a better deal. You get married and you find that your husband or wife balance each other out. You put your heads and hearts and minds together and God does some special things through those relationships but you have to work at it. #Here is what He says about the lack of unity, and then we will get into the message. He says in Proverbs -- I want you to look at all these things because all these things that He lists here will cause that unity to erode. He says: (Proverbs 6:16) . Did anybody ever give you a proud look? What do you want to do when people do that to you? Well, you want to slap the dog out of them. That is a natural response. What is it that the Lord says turns away wrath? Soft words turn away wrath. Endeavoring to keep the bond. Sometimes we have to be sweet when we don't want to be sweet, right? Why? Because we are accomplishing the task. A proud look is one of the worst things that can happen to a fellow. When that wells up within us, things begin to fall apart. You guys try it when you get home. Try it with your wife and see what happens. She will show you. She will prove it to you that it's not a good thing. #A proud look; a lying tongue. We don't have to comment on that, do we? It destroys unity. Has anybody ever had somebody tell a lie on them? Just a flat-out, bald-face lie? How does that make you feel? It is bad to be accused of something but it is really worse to be accused of something you know you didn't do. I've been accused of a lot of things that I did and I felt bad. But when you get accused of something you didn't do, then it really turns you on, doesn't it? It pushes the buttons and causes things to happen because there you are: self-justification and self-defense. I can just about promise you that nobody in this building has ever experienced righteous indignation. That doesn't even fit into our lives. #It says that hands that shed innocent; a heart that deviseth wicked imagination; feet that be swift and run into mischief; a false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren. Do you know any baptist churches like that? I can name some for you that have been destroyed just by the last thing here. He that soweth discord among the brethren. In this last three years I had men on the building committee and they knew what they were doing. I had no burden on me; I'll be honest with you. This was the easiest thing done, as easily as it could be done. These guys, bless their heart, would come to me with their blue prints and say, "Bro. Tom, here's what we are going to do." I'd say, "Yeah! That's good! Go for it!" I didn't know what they were doing, but they did. They took all the burden off me. They brought every decision to me. We discussed it. Mostly I would ask questions and they would give answers. Those were not the problems. But some of the things in these verses; these were the problems. #Let me share one thing with you. A man in the church, a little younger than I am, I had known a number of years. I had confidence in him. I trusted him. He was a man that I felt could pray. I made the mistake of bringing him into my world and shared some things with him and confided in him some burdens that I had, only to find out that he took all of those things and broadcast them. He used some of that information to try to attack me. As a matter of fact, he was determined he was going to get me out of this church, that God was using him to save Leagueville from me. I believe God could handle that by himself. This just blew me away. I have never in my ministry --. I've heard the horror stories from some of the older preachers and I don't think I could have survived in their world. I haven't had a lot of problems. But this was one that reached deep down into my heart and grabbed ahold of me; it wrung me out because I couldn't conceive of this taking place. #So the building was going great. The walls were going up. The paint was being slapped on everywhere and the concrete was poured. Everything was going great but inside I was falling completely apart. You know what it came down to? It came down to somebody sewing discord among the brethren. He accused me of all kind of things that I wouldn't even want to begin to share with you. So much that I had to get up before my people and say, 'listen folks, here's what is being said. I've been accused of this; I've been accused of lying and (continued...)

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