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"The strength of the team is each individual member. The strength of each member is the team."

Phil Jackson 

Casey Stengel made a comment about the challenge of managing a professional baseball team. His observation applies to life in general. He said, “It’s easy to get good players. Gettin’ em to play together, that’s the hard part.” 

All of us face that same issue in our lives.  “How do I blend my abilities and talents with other people?  How do I cooperate with others to reach the same goal?”  Those questions apply to business, family, and definitely our walk with God. 

There are individual sports such as wrestling, boxing, and golf.  Then there are team sports such as basketball, baseball, and football.  In the team sports, you are only as successful as your team is!  The key to success is knowing how to work with others. 

Pride and selfishness hinder a team from being successful. Jesus instructed everyone, even leaders, to lay aside pride and live to serve others. The Apostle Paul understood the value of working effectively with others. He emphasized teamwork because he knew that we could only reach our goals through mutual effort. 

Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves. Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others. -Philippians 2:3-4 

Paul pointedly addressed a destructive attitude—selfishness. Focusing on ourselves and our own interests at the expense of others will ultimately leave any of us isolated and ineffective.

Paul’s additional challenge to consider others better than yourselves wars against selfishness. That advice goes against our fallen human nature. We live in a highly competitive world; we know that winners are rewarded. No one wants to be a loser. 

God honors unselfishness. It is the only attitude that will make us winners in the end. As Casey Stengel demonstrated with the New York Yankees, championships are won when individuals play together. It works in fire service, law enforcement, EMS, hospital staff, and what’s more – it works in everyday life. It will work for any of us. 

"Talent wins games, but teamwork and intelligence win championships."

Michael Jordan