NO SUBSTITUE FOR TEAMWORK
No individual “star,” playing without cooperation on the part of his teammates, can successfully withstand a team of players of lesser individual competence but who play as a unit. There’s no substitution for teamwork.
Teamwork and cooperation in the great “game of life” are stressed in the New Testament. The apostle Paul states, “that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ— from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.” (Ephesians 4:14-16). Take note: “The whole body,” which is the church (Ephesians 1:22-23), is “fitly joined together and compacted.” What cohesiveness! What unity! How different from denominationalism! How is such teamwork accomplished? By the “. . . effective working by which every part does its share,. . . ” What a beautiful word picture of the beauty of teamwork.
Hence, we can further appreciate why Paul has enjoined upon Christians that they, “. . . beseech you to walk worthy of the calling with which you were called, with all lowliness and gentleness, with longsuffering, bearing with one another in love, endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.” (Ephesians 4:1-3). When we walk with lowliness and meekness, with forbearance and love, we have teamwork – genuine teamwork – as surely as day follows night.
Conversely, we can readily understand why Solomon, in setting forth seven things the Lord hates, list as the seventh, “He that sows discord among brethren” (Proverbs 6:19). God hates any influence which is destructive to teamwork among his children. (And rest assured, Satan will be in the middle of it trying to destroy the Lord’s church in any way he can. TCT)
A basic cause for the sowing of discord is to “think of ourselves more highly than we ought.” (Romans 12:3).
Consider the way Jesus thought and acted while he was here. In some of the most poignant words we can find in Scripture, we see Paul stress to the Philippians the attitude of being like Christ. “Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others. Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross (Philippians 2:3-8).
Paul also states in Romans 12:3-5 “For I say, through the grace given to me, to everyone who is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think soberly, as God has dealt to each one a measure of faith. For as we have many members in one body, but all the members do not have the same function, so we, being many, are one body in Christ, and individually members of one another.”
David put it well when he wrote in Psalms 133, “Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity! It is like the precious oil upon the head, running down on the beard, The beard of Aaron, Running down on the edge of his garments. It is like the dew of Hermon, descending upon the mountains of Zion; For there the LORD commanded the blessing—Life forevermore.”
And our Lord stated the purpose of unity best in John 17:20-21, “I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word; that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me.”
Joe Malone Via the Christian Journal, March 1983)
UNITY IS BEING HUMBLE AND PATIENT WITH ONE ANOTHER.
UNITY IS BEARING WITH ONE ANOTHER IN LOVE.
UNITY IS MORE THAN WORSHIPPING TOGETHER – IT IS WORKING TOGETHER.
If we are to have TRUE UNITY I must put off the old self and put on the new self which is created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness. Ephesians 4:22-24.
Beloved, consider these words and think deeply about us here at South Cobb. Are we united? Do we have struggles with one another? Am I willing to do what I can to make sure of my relationship with God and my brothers and sisters? Are we all seeking to honor God and praise Him as we gather together for worship and work? Am I encouraging my brothers and sisters to “be all they can be” with the Lord and His church? Do I think everything is about me? Am I willing to work with all of my brothers and sisters so we can get to heaven? All of this depends on me and my attitude.