Psalms 133:1 Behold, how good and pleasant it is when brothers dwell in unity!
When I was in high school (Helix High School in La Mesa, CA,) I was on the water polo team. I was not a water polo player, but I was a swimmer (went to the Junior Olympics as an elementary kid for my breaststroke, but loved the IM and medley relay), and my freshman year they recruited a bunch of us to water polo. I was not that good, but we pulled together and did well as a team. Honestly, it was different for me, as I was not used to this ‘team’ sport. Swimming is more of an individual sport, and though the team encourages you on, it’s just you against others. With water polo, it’s all about working together, knowing where your fellow teammates are and communicating. I can still hear coach yelling out, “Talk to each other!” We eventually got the hang of it, with a slap of the water to call for the ball, to a look, to quick move to the side, to calling out ‘help’ when we needed someone to pass to. All this took practice, running through drills, and time in the water together. But it also took trust that each guy was working as hard as the next to do our part so we could score goals. Some guys, myself included, loved to take shots and get those fun stats of high-scorer and we would hog the ball or take a shot when someone else had a better angle. Being a team meant we humbled ourselves and sacrificed our pride. All of this made the game fun and we did quite well, for to go far in this game was to work the team thing!
In the game of life, yes, there is much that is of an individual nature, but God never intended for us to go it alone. First off, if we so choose, God will always be with us.
Deuteronomy 31:6 Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the Lord your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you.
That’s an amazing promise from God! Actually, all through the Bible God let’s us know He loves us, likes, us, and finds joy in being in relationship with us.
Zephaniah 3:17 The Lord your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; He will rejoice over you with gladness; He will quiet you by His love; He will exult over you with loud singing.
God also intended us to team up with others.
Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil, for if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up! Again, if two lie together, they keep warm, but how can one keep warm alone? And though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him—a threefold cord is not quickly broken.
We need each other not only to bring out our best, but also to help us when we trip up. We all have issues that trip us up. We get sick. We get hurt by others. We make mistakes. We get prevailed against. We lose a job, a friend, or a loved one. We get cancer. We get into relationship trouble, and the list goes on. When those things happen, who are your teammates?
Now this team thing takes effort and some real work. We have to be humble, willing to sacrifice, and not be so self-focused. Here are some ways to practice this team thing for life…
Colossians 3:12-15 Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful.
Too much in life separates and isolates. It just makes sense to do the team thing. How about you?
Church can be a great place to learn more about God’s desire to connect with us, but also how to team better with others. If you don’t already have a church you regularly attend, we would like to invite you to Cypress Church or any of our branch churches. We are continuing a teaching series walking through the Bible book of John called “Game On – The Thrill of Taking Life to the Next Level.” Our website has all the information you would need: www.cypresschurch.net. There is even a link to a daily devotional that you might enjoy.
Working on the team thing in life along with you,