My daughter has played ball for seven years now and absolutely loves the sport of softball. In the recreation league, she was a prominent player, spending almost every inning ruling first base, and we named her Queen of the Bunt last season. This year has been a big change after she made the school team, which has a bigger roster and is much more competitive. She now plays right field and has had to come to terms that she will sit on the bench more than she is used to.
We had a long talk about her role still being important to the team. I explained that days when she may be on the bench, she is to take her role as cheerleader very seriously and help to keep the morale of her teammates up. I keep her in check about falling into jealousy, which is often easy to do when you see others succeeding in something you desire to achieve as well. In my eyes, her new role on the team is just as important as when she is snagging balls and getting runners out at first, even though our society tends to overlook this aspect of teams.
This got me to thinking about Christians. More specifically for me, Christian authors and leaders. I view us as all being on the same team. There will be more prominent players than some, and that role will fluctuate. Nonetheless, we should be ready to celebrate and encourage. There should be no room for envy and criticism. Yet, I worry we don’t understand this aspect any better than society does when it comes to team sports. The tendency to want to nitpick and belittle others and not be supportive is sad to witness. If we are on the same team of Jesus Christ, then we should never tear one another down, even if our fellow Christians go about sharing their faith a little differently than others. We should be lifting them up.
We’ve all heard, “If you don’t have something nice to say, then don’t say anything at all.” Yes, as reader I have the right to not like a book, but now that I am a published author, I feel it’s of upmost importance to show respect for others in my career field. Especially with fellow Christian authors. I may not enjoy a certain author’s style or genre, but I will never publicly bash them for it. This should be the same concept with pastors, singers, teachers, etc. We are on the same team, people! You cannot jell as a successful team if you’re tearing your teammates down.
Jesus said the world would know we're his disciples by our love for one another, and that's the way I hope to see my daughter this year on her softball team. The most supportive team player.
“Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples.” John 13:35