Take One for the Team

I readily admit that I am getting old and crusty.  Here is why I believe this is happening to me and to many old people.  Sin has a downward spiral to it.  Sin always destroys.  If you are graced to live long enough, you will see this downward spiral of sin up close and personal.  Sometimes in your own life (this is why repentance is so important) but almost always in the institutions and agencies that effect your life.  Nations, without revival, can have a downward spiral.  Watching this happen in your lifetime, can make you old and crusty.  Solomon says we complain about out how better the old days were.  While that may be true, it does not usually help.  But today I want to complain about how the old days were better...hoping that it might spur us unto good works?

I can remember my dad complaining about how million dollar contracts had ruined the games for him.  Athletes were now more worried about their pay days than they were worried about their team.  A player may not try to hit a sacrifice fly ball but would swing for the fences.  A home run would look better on the stats than a sac fly out.  A football player cared a little less that his team lost if he had great stats.  Now, I find myself complaining about how multimillionaire players are refusing to play out their contracts.  They are upset about the direction of the team or about one of their bosses so they demand to be traded.  They believe they have the right to demand a trade to another team because they are not happy.  It does not matter that they signed a contract, that it would hurt their present team, that their present teammates will be hurt, or that the young fan who just paid a hundred dollars for his jersey will be disappointed.  All that matters is their happiness.

Politicians make decisions based on reelection and not what is best for the country.  Husbands choose temporary pleasure over their families.  Employees show no concern for their fellow workers as they steal from their jobs.  People church hop with little concern for the reputation of Christ or the effect on the church they left.  Individual happiness, fulfillment, or need is first priority.  Why stick it out in one place if another place better fits your wants or needs just a little better?  Here is a few questions this raises in my mind?  How does this way of thinking fit into the model of unity, patience, and love covering that the Bible teaches?  How does iron sharpen iron if we are not willing to bang them together?  Taking one for the team implies we take one for the team...the Bible teaches that we forgive 70 times 7.  How do we lift others up when we put our needs in front of theirs?  Why does the Bible emphasize being a body or being a family if our needs are first priority?  

No team is perfect.  No situation is ideal.  I believe that is why God gave us each other.  So that in our weaknesses and frailties, others can come and build us up.  I am sure that Aaron and Hur thought about switching teams.  They help up Moses’ arms.  Smelling his sweaty pits.  Their arms aching doing a job that held no glory.  But Israel needed them.  Israel romped as they held up sweaty arms.  They took several for the team.  Moses could not hold up his arms long enough.  They were needed to do what the leader should have been able to do but was unable to do himself.  That is what teams are for.  To work together and make weaknesses strong.  I am not saying that there are not times that leaving is for the best.  But may those times be few.  May we stand together as a nation, as churches, and as families.  Willing to place others before ourselves.  Willing to be like Esther who was placed in her position at just the right time.  Not to run but stay and take several for the team.

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