Growing up I played sports. Mostly soccer and tennis, but there was a little attempt at swimming and track along the way. Playing sports used a lot of time growing up, it was something that I really enjoyed and was good at. Being on different teams provided different experiences and life lessons. It is interesting to observe the dynamic of different team structures. What you would learn as a member of a swim team would be really different than what would be learned on a soccer team, vastly different than a singles tennis player would learn. Growing up we are apart of all different teams and group projects. When we grow up and get older we are all on the same team. As Christian women we are all on the same team, like a dodge ball team, not a swim, soccer or tennis team. We are all working together towards one goal; sometimes stepping aside so others can have a turn, all the while communicating and looking out for one another. Warning those to duck and pointing out who to aim for.
It is really important to always want each other to do well. When someone gets a job, buys a a house, goes on a trip, gets pregnant, has an opportunity that we make an effort, as a teammate to support them. Sometimes just a shout, “hey that is awesome”, “ohh great job!”, “I’ve been praying you for you!”, “Praise the Lord that He brought this into your life”. Sometimes it’s a little more hands on, sending a card, taking a meal, helping someone pack, sorting through stuff, or watching kids. As a teammate, standing by and not saying anything, good or bad is not really an option. Just watching their life happen and slandering, gossiping or judging is not what teammates do. Often, what bubbles up first is envy, not joy.
If you are viewing life as a competition you are not truly loving people. If you are trying to get ahead, be better than those around you and dwelling on how you compare to others, envy has overtaken your heart. When you are unable to rejoice in other people’s successes and be truly excited when people surpass or grow beyond you it reflects a heart of jealousy, which can tear apart community and relationships so fast. Envy grows in the heart and can remain under the surface for years. It will however, quickly be reflected in what you do, say and interact when with or around them and slowly chip away at your joy.
Be on guard and evaluate the condition of your heart and what kind of teammate you are. Go out of your way to build unity, joy, strength, peace and rejoicing in those around you. Don’t allow envy to creep in, don’t cultivate it in your friendships or in those around you. By gossiping and talking about others and asking prying questions you maybe causing a temptation for someone to be envious. Be careful with your words and what you say to those around you. Be a good teammate, point others to Christ and pick up potential stumbling blocks in the way of others, being careful not to lay them down in-front of your teammates.
Have your accountability and prayer partners, be honest with them about your heart and truly pray for and encourage them and graciously encourage them to be Godly teammates.