Thursday, August 20, 2009

When It Looks Like Your Team Is Not Winning

As we have been gone from our former church longer and longer, I find that life is happening to all of those who have left. Sounds like a "duh" kind of statement doesn't it. My point is this. People have left and I find myself watching their lives with a bit of curiosity.

Our church often preached that you would lose your destiny when you left their fellowship. Not only your destiny was at stake but since you were now "out from under covering" this left you open to be deceived, have bad things happen to you, have the favor of God removed from your life, be directionless, discouraged, depressed, and disheartened. (Like my alliteration?)

In short, you could look forward to your life completely falling apart until you returned to the "family."

So, as people have left, I think there is a bit of competitiveness in me that wants everything to go well with them. I have noticed that when I hear that something has gone well for them, I not only rejoice in the good thing but I also rejoice that "our team" is looking good. The same happens when something bad happens to them. I not only grieve that something bad has happened, I cringe a bit because it makes the "team" look....well....not so good. Especially when a person's choice is involved in the in their decision to follow God, or stay married to their spouse, or not move in with their boyfriend.

Fact is, sometimes our "team" is not looking so good. Jobs applied for - not gotten, cancer appears on the screen, separation from a spouse is spoken of, a child angry and bitter at God, health deteriorating and not getting better, prayers unanswered, some dreams unrealized, some are directionless, some are discouraged, depressed, disheartened.

In actuality, all of this happened in the church I belonged to. If it was blatant enough people just left the body first. The rest of it happened too, we just didn't talk about it as publicly. There were praise testimonies of God's favor, healing and provision. You just mostly did not hear the bad stuff.

Yes, these bad things will be brought up as a weapon to keep those who are still there in their seats. Our lives will be used as ammunition to convince the people there that God's favor is no longer with us and won't be with them if they leave.

Fact is, this is just life. Both in and out of the old church. And actually, we are all on the same "team." We are all the Father's kids.

The other day I repented for my "team" mentality. I quit! I'm refusing to even keep score anymore. I'm going to keep from separating us into two groups and rejoice with those who rejoice and weep with those who weep. The game was not one I was supposed to be playing anyway so I'm taking my ball and going home.


David Liem said...

Great, you have a gift for expressing what's happening in your life. And things are happening! I once was in a conversation with a person from my former church and I talked about how we keep score. The rules are 'always give God the glory'. So when you go in for that surgery that you've been praying for a healing for the last two years and nothing has say to the doctor 'I believe you are the hand of God' and whatever happens I give God the glory. Its all in how we keep score!!

Anyway, thanks for writing again, I was blessed.

abmo said...

Hi Barb, yes, we are all on the same team. I think the biggest reason we have an "us versus them" mentality is to justify what we did. We left. If others leave too, it means we are not wrong for leaving. There are now people on my side as well. It's comforting, but now we cannot rejoice for the "other" side. We struggle to have grace for "them". But God showed us that if one is lost, we are all lost. If one suffers, we all suffer. We are on the same team.

Sometimes, I wish everybody would be on "my" team. But then God reminds me, we are His, and His alone. Thanks Jesus, Your grace extents to us all, even me :)

ruthsongs said...

I still struggle with this after 3 yrs. I see it in myself and loathe it. Thanks for expressing it, it helps me to get a handle on "it" and confess. I want to be a lover of truth above all else.