While much of America’s sporting community were watching college football this weekend, golf fans were fixated on the goings-on “down under” in Australia where the United States won the Presidents Cup again by a tally of 19-15 over a very strong Internationals squad captained by Greg Norman. This was not unusual, as the Americans have dominated this competition. What is unusual is how they did it. In the past, in team competitions like the Presidents Cup and the Ryder Cup, the USA has generally struggled in the pairs matches only to fight their way back during Sunday’s singles matches. Not this time. This time, the American squad dominated in the two rounds of alternate shot matches (where two members of the team take turns hitting the shot) and leveraged that domination to secure the win. It was a breath of fresh air to see the US team playing like an actual team, depending on one another and serving one another—because a team effort was exactly what was needed.
In a similar way, many times the church can become a place where “What’s in it for me?” is the cry of the throngs. Only caring what I like or what I want or what I prefer will never help the church to be the true spiritual body it is designed and intended to be. Only as each of us realize that there is more to the church than just our personal interests can the mission of the church go forward at full strength. That is why the New Testament letters continually call us to seek the benefit of our brothers and sisters in Christ. This call is captured in more than 20 “one another” statements in which we are challenged to seek the best of the other first and foremost. For example . . .
- “So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and individually members of one another” (Rom. 12:5).
- “Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another” (Rom. 12:10).
- “Be of the same mind toward one another. Do not set your mind on high things, but associate with the humble. Do not be wise in your own opinion” (Rom. 12:16).
- “Owe no one anything except to love one another, for he who loves another has fulfilled the law” (Rom. 13:8).
That is just a small sample of the “one another” statements, but the point is clear. The ability of the church to function as a team—members together of the body of Christ—is directly related to our willingness to seek the best of others within the church. That is at the very core of a team effort.
Bill Crowder, Sports Spectrum Chaplain