"Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another." – Proverbs 27:17
As athletes, we are all familiar with the importance of having the right players on a team. We suffer alongside our teammates during grueling practices to be ready come game day. Our accountability to our team pushes us to be our best. And isn’t this what we do as Christians? Join a team of followers, train hard, suffer together and listen to our "coach,” God. We challenge each other, are honest with each other, and most importantly, we lift each other up and love each other even when it is tough. While we train to become more like Jesus, we suffer and feel pain together. It is almost impossible to live out our life as a Christian all alone. Teamwork is paramount to walking out our Christian faith. Without it, we take short cuts, begin to slack off and compromise. This results in an “out of shape” Christian.
Think about a time when you were in mediocre physical shape. Maybe lifting weights a few days a month, a run here and there, but nothing consistent. How about when your Christian “shape” was suffering? You may attend a church service once a month, a Bible study every other semester, a campus Christian meeting occasionally. You are on God's team, but not making the wisest decisions regarding friendships and sin. You are not actively practicing with the right teammates. You don’t have the accountability needed to push yourself spiritually and stay in line with God’s word.
We all have the potential to be great for Christ and avoid a lukewarm life. But we need to surround ourselves with like-minded believers who will train hard and stand with us when we face tough times. With a team of Christ followers by our side, we will stay in top spiritual shape and be able to withstand anything the enemy may throw our way.
So, who is on your team? Those who are strong or weak, friends who hold you spiritually accountable or look the other way? Your teammates will dictate the outcome of your training. You can either be a victorious competitor for Christ or end up a defeated, ineffective Christian. The choice is yours.
- Do you have strong spiritual teammates? If so, how do they help strengthen you? If not, who could become one?
- Have you ever suffered pain as a member of God’s team? How did this affect your spiritual shape?
- What rewards are there for being on God’s team?
1 Corinthians 9:24-27