In your different stages of life, there will be people who like you because of the way you treat them, some may love you for who you are, and some for what you do for them. On the other hand, you will encounter those who don’t like you because of the way people love you. This is called ‘everyday people’. You and I are the everyday people. Be completely honest with yourself, do you really like everyone around you? Let us be sincere here. God loves honesty. One of the things I battle with is not loving people because I genuinely love those around me, but my concern is the way in which I perceive them to be. I can say I love everyone around me, but when a certain name is called, am I free or does my Spirit feel stiff?
I have come to realise that if God was to treat me the way I treated other people, how would I be able to stand? God is so loving that regardless of what we do, He still looks beneath our flaws and mistakes and washes us afresh. There will be times in our lives where God will test you according to the way you treat people. Treating people with all honesty brings blessings, not only to you, but to those around you, even your future!. If you are someone who loves working with people, surely it would not be a problem because you have the character in maintaining a team; in comparison to those who prefer doing things independently. Doing things by yourself is not always a problem, however when it comes to projects that must be fulfilled, you will need people. I will give an example: Jesus had the Father as I would say ‘His EVERYTHING’. Jesus was able to have fellowship with the Father, as well as His Disciples also. He had 12 Disciples, and there were times that He wanted to have fellowship with them (the time where Jesus was tempted and asked His disciples to stay awake and pray; Ref: Matthew 26:36). You see, it is very good to have a team of people you can relate to because at that time, Jesus needed support the most, but the issue was that His Disciples did not pray, instead they slept because they were tired.
Have you ever been in a serious situation that all you wanted was a few people to listen to your problems? To call you when you are down? Yes, I have too, and it has not always been easy because when I was at my lowest, nobody was around. However I knew someone who was up in the Heavens watching over me, comforting me and saying that I hear your cry. God hears your cry today Queen. You are not alone in your struggle. Sometimes God will give you the opportunity to choose your friends wisely. Not everybody you laugh or go to university with is your friend. Sometimes we think we know who is for us, but this discernment comes from God Himself. If God was to give us all the discernment to know who is sincere and nasty to us, this world would be all over the place. God can only give discernment to those HE TRUSTS. If God has shown you someone who is potentially going to betray you, He does not expect you to confront them in a harsh way and pounce on them. Instead He wants you to be mature enough to go into the secret place of the Most High, kneel down at His feet and pray for that person. He also does not expect you to go around telling people about what happened. Vengeance is not ours ladies, it is simply the Lord’s.
In other words, we are all ONE BODY IN CHRIST! When one member is down, we are all down. I experienced a moment where I found it really hard to accept people back into my life. It is not that I was a mean person, but my Spirit just could not connect with it. I prayed over it, and half of me felt like accepting it, but the other half was saying no. I was so confused because it seemed like at one end God was speaking and at the other end my emotions were speaking. One thing I have come to realise is that when your emotions overshadow the voice of God, do not expect God to speak because He won’t. He is not moved by your pity, He is moved by your Obedience and Faith. It is not about how you feel in that instance, but truly about what He tells you to do. I know at times it will feel uncomfortable, but the Peace you get from obeying is something not to be missed! Apostle Paul emphasized in 1 Corinthians 1:10 “I appeal to you brothers by the Name of our Lord Jesus Christ that all of you agree and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be united in the same mind and the same judgement”. This scripture expresses the power of unity, because when unity is utilized to its potential, NOTHING can come in between, not even the demonic spirits in high places. Remember that your enemy the Devil prowls around like a roaring lion seeking who he may devour (1 Peter 5:8). The enemy hates unity, but we must use it as warfare against it.
As the Body of Christ, we must make sure we encourage our brothers and sisters, especially when they are weak and need our assistance. You are not the only one that has problems; we all do. Being transparent in the Kingdom is something I personally learnt to do in September 2015. I found so much freedom and peace in being open to people, their needs and personal issues. This is what generates a solid team, because true teamwork comes from transparency and selflessness. It does not come from pride or thinking you are better than everyone else. Your team could consist of 3 people, that is fine. Some have 10; Jesus had 12, although He had two intimate friends; Peter and Judas, who along the lines did betray Him. It is painful, but this is the life we live in and we learn from it. Choosing your team requires the wisdom of God, for Him to give you direction on who to keep close.
Nonetheless, I have come to realise that those who hurt me are the very same people who gets me to my knees to seek God further. There is nothing as powerful as seeking the Face of God when people treat you bad. Remember it is not about them, it is about your brokenness in the eyes of God, and how He can use that brokenness to mend hearts. We all have our own signature of being broken; being broken is not a curse, nor is being alone. Sometimes your team can consist of you and God alone. It says “Greater is He that is in Me than he that is in the World” (1 John 4:4). It is much better to walk with God rather than to be of the world and walk without Him. I have experienced greater trials and triumphs as I walk with God, and more is yet to come, but in the end I know that all things will work out for my good (Romans 8:28).
Ecclesiastes 4: 9-12 reads “Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up! Again, if two lie together, they keep warm, but how can one keep warm alone? And though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him—a threefold cord is not quickly broken”. There is power when two people unite as one, because when one is in need, the other can supply. Having no one at all to lift you up when things go wrong is something that must be checked with God. Maybe pride is getting into the way of your breakthrough? Maybe unforgiveness is kicking at the door of your heart? What about that time you were gossiping about your friend and laughing at her situation thinking that it would not catch up with you? These are the things God hates; He does not want His children being lukewarm or taken advantage of. If two can come in agreement and make a decision together, no evil shall befall them because the decision cannot be easily broken. A problem shared is a problem half solved so the saying goes. It is important to share your problems because as iron sharpens iron, so does a friend sharpen his/her friend (Proverbs 27:17).
In Hebrews 10:24-25 it reads “And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near”. Sometimes situations occur that prevent you from meeting up with people. How can you identify your team without getting to know them on a deeper level? When I think about the people God has placed in my life today, it did not just happen overnight. I made an effort to introduce myself to them, and they also did the same. It really is reciprocal. The same with God, when you draw near to Him, He shall draw near to you (James 4:8). This is self-explanatory. We must be able to make the first move with others so that we know what they are like, their character; the same with God. God already knows us, but He is waiting for us to discover Him on a deeper level beyond the Cross. From then He will reveal your team to you. You cannot choose from a flesh-based perspective or how they treated you in the past; choosing your team members has to be authentically revealed from God. I know it can be easy to choose your team based on the way they treat you, but it is deeper than that. Being in a team is not going to be a bed of roses, there will be quarrels and disagreements. You don’t quit just because they did not choose your decision; instead you compromise and agree on one outcome. When we can praise people for who they are it is regarded as high quality so that the team will continue to make an effort for next time. It is teamwork that enables common men to do uncommon things.
In as much as I have spoken in reference to friends and teamwork, it can also be the teamwork of family. When it comes to family there too can be conflict. The story of Joseph in Genesis 37, he had two brothers that was envious of him because of the dream Joseph told them. Now it is even more painful when you share your dream with a family relative that turns against you. This is what happened to Joseph and eventually was sold into slavery in Egypt. If Joseph held a grudge against his brothers, do you think he would have been the King of Egypt? Sometimes God wants to test your heart. Are you happy for those around you, or do you harbor envy? Joseph was mature enough to ignore what his brothers did to him and forgive them for their own sake. This contributes to effective teamwork. The respect that Joseph’s brothers had for him was humbling. It takes strength to turn the other cheek but is very worth it.
Ladies, we are meant to bring out the best in people, not the worst. Everyone has flaws; you and I have made countless mistakes. Yes you may be healing from your past and the activities you got involved in that were not healthy for you; however it does not give us the right to condemn someone who was in your shoes before. Instead relate to their struggle and help them up. That is true teamwork. One of the problems in the church today is its failure to function as a team. Too frequently we have situations where a few people, often very gifted, are trying to do all or most of the work. Other times, it can be situations where we have gifts such as singing but always demands to hold the microphone. Just because you have a mic does not make you holier than someone who sings without one. This is completely contrary to Scripture and always leads to inefficiency and disunity. No matter how gifted or capable you are, the ones who think they need no one else or that they are fundamentally indispensable, are immature. No person is an island. A teamwork mentality is a vital quality of maturity.
If we are going to function as a good team member, it would be wise to examine our own lives to determine what God has called us to do as a member of His team, the Body of Christ, as well as those around us. For this we should know ourselves in reference to our gifts, talents, abilities, and burdens in that we can examine our own motives, seek input from others, and prayerfully seek Gods’ leading direction. Secondly, it would also seem wise to take inventory periodically and examine where our priorities ought to be according to the standards of the Word. Our responsibilities and priorities change to some degree through the various stages and circumstances of life. As we are aware, circumstances can change and may move us in different directions with regard to what we do as members of the Body of Christ.