Tuesday, February 18, 2014

The Power of Together

One thing that rubs me the wrong way sometimes: Competition.

Yeah, yeah - I get it. Not everyone can be a winner, and sometimes teams or athletes lose. I like the Olympics for that reason. Sports are great fun, to play and to watch. And I want my kids to grow up learning how to be good sports, and lose with grace. I also want them to try hard to be the best at what they do - their best. Competition drives prices down for us savvy consumers. Capitalism has a place. Sure. So, in some places competition is great.

But not when it comes to God's Kingdom. Church, love, justice - these are not competition's arenas.  

I'm a firm believer that the best kind of victory is one you can share

So, can we please exit Competition out of our churches and out of our Kingdom-driven non-profits? Please? It's getting old.

That's why I believe in coalition, especially when it comes to fighting modern-day-slavery. If we're competing for attention and money, how will that ever set anyone free? If it's me-first, look-at-us, give-us-your-donation-instead-of-them ... of course we know that can't be God's way. It's just not how He operates. You know it and I know it, and I don't even have to quote this Scripture to prove it, but I will:
"Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-controlagainst such things there is no law." - Galatians 5:19-23 (ESV) [emphasis mine]
Anti-trafficking efforts are so vast, so overwhelmingly difficult, time-consuming, emotionally-consuming, and insurmountable (30 million slaves world-wide was the latest estimate I read), we've got to come to grips that we must work together. 

Which is why I love organizations like The Exodus Road. They call themselves a coalition, and they are. They target the rescue pillar of the abolition movement, but that's not to say they don't work with other organizations, individuals, and leaders who address awareness/prevention and recovery/restoration. When I was doing my research and asking God where I could invest time, resources, and talents into the fight for justice - they stood out as an organization that aligned with my passion for cooperation. That's my shameless plug. Go ahead - check them out. Read, give, engage, fight. You won't be sorry to put down your competitive spirit for these guys. 

So, I've been thinking along the lines of non-profits, churches, ministries a lot lately. Call it transition, or whatever you like - I'm here and this is me and if you don't like it then let me know, or maybe just pass me up on your way to wherever you're trying to go. I'm done with insecure competition anyway. I think I was done way back in 9th grade, but that's a hard prison to escape from - not gonna lie. 

I'm just sayin. If we're all His kids, can't we just work together toward the same goals? Is it not common sense that we'll accomplish more for Christ's eternal Kingdom if we unite instead of compete? 

Okay - I get it. Easier said than done. Tell this to Luther. Denominations do have a place, so that's not what I'm arguing against. I suppose I would just like to see some ecumenical networking for the sake of justice here. Maybe that's too tall a mountain to scale.

Or maybe we have a God Who's not only bigger than mountains, but Who can move them.

If we fight together, Freedom wins.

photo credits:

1 comment:

  1. Well said. 2 words jumped out at me from the verse you quoted "are evident". Works of the flesh are evident. We don't have to look very far to find them. It's sad that we waste our time, energy, and resources in the distraction of competition. The enemy will use anything he can to try to hold back God's work, and competition, particularly in Kingdom work, seems to be a handy tool in his belt. Sometimes people look at my husband and I funny when speaking to someone about where a person attends church, especially if they have chosen another over the one we serve at. When we say, "It doesn't matter to me where they go, as long as they go somewhere that the truth of the Gospel is taught. We're all on the same team." people seem to be taken aback. God really has made a point to me about that over the past few years, and has shown me that often competition in things like this result from our own insecurities. If another person joins "my team", then my team must be the right one or the best one.

    Great post, Robyn.