If you read this past Wednesday’s post, please feel free to skip this paragraph. I wrote about the importance of learning to function as part of a team, using some of my own experiences as examples of how the failure to be a team player can create problems. Humongous ones.
Although I was talking primarily about teamwork on the job, every area of life that involves other people requires a certain amount of teamwork. Whether it’s me mowing the lawn and vacuuming while my wife cleans the bathroom or not butting in line in front of someone at the grocery store, society depends on our ability to play our roles properly.
The Bible has some interesting things to say about that. The apostle Paul was writing to the church in Corinth. And here’s part of what he had to say:
12 Just as a body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts form one body, so it is with Christ. 13 For we were all baptized by[c] one Spirit so as to form one body—whether Jews or Gentiles, slave or free—and we were all given the one Spirit to drink. 14 Even so the body is not made up of one part but of many.
15 Now if the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason stop being part of the body. 16 And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason stop being part of the body. 17 If the whole body were an eye, where would the sense of hearing be? If the whole body were an ear, where would the sense of smell be? 18 But in fact God has placed the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be. 19 If they were all one part, where would the body be? 20 As it is, there are many parts, but one body. (NIV)
Although he was talking specifically about people in the church having varying roles, what he said is also relevant to society as a whole. In one sense, the world population is one team, and no member of the team is more important than anyone else. Each of us is needed, and we must all work together in a general sort of way in order to remain at least marginally civilized.
If I should knowingly drop a piece of trash on the floor in the mall, my action affects the custodian. Yes, his job is to pick up trash, but I’m not a good member of the “earth team” if I knowingly make his job harder–or cause someone to trip and hurt himself on the trash I drop. If I should knowingly exceed the speed limit enough for a policeman to pull me over, I’m making his job harder than it needs to be. But I may also be endangering another member of the “earth team.”
Even though the policeman’s job in helping to maintain safety seems more important than that of the custodian, I both people are parts of the same body. Parts the body couldn’t function without.
What do you think? Is the application of the quoted Scripture to humanity in general too much of a leap of faith? How about leaving a comment and letting the rest of us know what you think.
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