Standing Firm In The Lord -Part 3

In the NIV verse 5 says, “Let your gentleness be evident to all.” What does that have to do with being a team player? Well, let me explain. The Greek work for ‘gentleness’ is translated in the RSV as ‘forbearance’ and in the Amplified as ‘unselfishness’. These words speak of not insisting on your own rights. In the Berkeley translation the word used is ‘considerateness’ which speaks of looking out for the rights of others. When we put this all together we learn that we are not to look out for number one, but to look out for the needs of others. In other words, we need to be team players. Perhaps the Message sums up the meaning best: “Make it as clear as you can to all you meet that you’re on their side, working with them and not against them.”

There are many athletes in professional sports that play on teams, but they are not team players. They don’t care about the team and its success. All they care about is their personal stats and their personal success. They are star players, not team players and their teams never win championships. As we attempt to stand our ground in this spiritual battle we must understand that there are no Rambo’s in this war. If we are going to stand firm in the Lord it will take a team effort and that requires team players.

We in the church could learn a lot about teamwork from geese.

Winging their way to a warmer climate, they often cover thousands of miles before reaching their destination. Have you ever studied why they fly as they do? It is fascinating to read what has been discovered about their flight pattern as well as their in-flight habits. Four come to mind. 1. Those in front rotate their leadership. When one lead goose gets tired, it changes places with one in the wing of the V-formation and another flies point. 2. By flying as they do, the members of the flock create an upward air current for one another. Each flap of the wings literally creates an uplift for the bird immediately following. One author states that by flying in a V-formation, the whole flock gets 71 percent greater flying range than if each goose flew on its own. 3. When one goose gets sick or wounded, two fall out of formation with it and follow it down to help and protect it. They stay with the struggler until it’s able to fly again.

4. The geese in the rear of the formation are the ones who do the honking. I suppose it’s their way of announcing that they’re following and that all is well. For sure, the repeated honks encourage those in front to stay at it. As I think about all this, one lesson stands out above all others: it is the natural instinct of geese to work together. Whether it’s rotating, flapping, helping, or simple honking, the flock is in it together…which enables them to accomplish what they set out to do.

(Chuck Swindoll, letter, October, 1991)

If you think that you can’t be a team player because your not talented enough to have anything to offer, let me tell you another story.

There’s a wonderful story about Jimmy Durante, one of the great entertainers of a generation ago. He was asked to be a part of a show for WW II veterans. He told them his schedule was very busy and he could afford only a few minutes, but if they wouldn’t mind his doing one short monologue and immediately leaving for his next appointment, he would come. Of course, the show’s director agreed happily.

What do you think?

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