“So God has put the body together such that extra honor and care are given to those parts that have less dignity. This makes for harmony among the members, so that all the members care for each other. If one part suffers, all the parts suffer with it, and if one part is honored, all the parts are glad.”
– 1 Corinthians 12:24-26
What more liberating experience is there than to feel whole, purposeful and in sync? We practice together, we play together, we win together and we lose together. Coaches preach this—you don’t just give your all to the game, you give your all to your team. Emmitt Smith’s induction speech into the NFL Hall of Fame is a perfect example. With tears of gratitude, he thanked his family, former coaches and teammates for helping him reach the pinnacle in football. But his most heartfelt thanks went to Daryl Johnston, the Dallas Cowboy fullback who cleared the path for many of Smith’s great runs. “You mean the world to me,” Smith told Johnston, asking him to stand up and be recognized by the crowd. “Not because we shared the same backfield, but because you sacrificed so much for me. Without you, I know today would not have been possible. I love you from the bottom of my heart.”
Playing as a team generates transforming power. African-American Emmitt Smith from Pensacola, Florida and the University of Florida pronouncing his love and affection for white Daryl Johnston from Youngstown, New York and Syracuse University. Wow! As the body of Christ, we have all been given gifts. It’s important to remember that even though we are not gifted in the same way, we are linked together. What affects one member of the team affects the entire team. We need each other. We belong to each other. We affect each other. Together, we can accomplish great things.
Father, thank You for the gifts you have given me. Help me to see that these gifts were not intended for my benefit, but for Your glory and in service to others. Make me a team player in the Body of Christ. Amen.