Why do more than five million people a year pay money to run several miles over an obstacle course where they must ascend vertical walls, slog through mud, and climb up inside a vertical pipe with water pouring down on them? Some see it as a personal challenge to push their limit of endurance or conquer their fears. For others, the attraction is teamwork where competitors help and support each other. One person called it “a no-judgment zone” where people who are strangers will reach out to help each other finish the race (Stephanie Kanowitz, The Washington Post).
The Bible urges us to pursue teamwork as a model of living out our faith in Jesus. “Let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching” (Hebrews 10:24–25).
Our goal is not to “finish first” in the race of faith, but to reach out in tangible ways of encouragement by setting an example and lending a helping hand along the way.
The day will come when we complete our life on earth. Until then, let’s spur each other on, be ready to help, and keep pulling together every day.
Father in heaven, give us eyes to see and strength to help each other in the race of faith today.
We run together in the race of faith.
A good example of teamwork is found in Nehemiah 3. Forty-two teams of workers—thirty-eight named individuals and hundreds more unnamed—worked together to rebuild Jerusalem’s broken walls. The high priest and fellow priests did not consider manual labor beneath them. They took the lead and set the example for the people (vv. 1, 28). Rulers, nobles, and city officials who could have ordered their servants to do the manual work, labored alongside the common people (vv. 9, 12, 17, 19). Craftsmen—goldsmiths and perfume makers who normally did artisan work—roughed it out under the hot sun (vv. 8, 31–32). Men and women worked side by side to accomplish their work (v. 12). The word next (used twenty-six times in Nehemiah 3) gives us a picture of commitment, cooperation, harmony, and unity. Each group of workers knew where to work, understood their tasks, and expeditiously completed them.
How does the teamwork of the temple workers, along with the admonition of Hebrews 10:25 to encourage each other, help you pursue teamwork in your service for Christ?