“Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves.” – Romans 12:10
It’s the same old record but in a different form. It’s a CD this time, not a cassette tape. When we will we get it? We can’t win this thing alone. I’ve seen organization after organization die because the leaders would rather run their small group than to merge together and create a larger, more effective group. There’s strength in numbers.
It all started with our search for significance and the need to feel important. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. called it the “drum major instinct.” He said in a speech that folks struggle with the “I must be out front; I must be first.”
No one wants to follow. Everyone wants to lead. Eventually you have a group of folks who all want to be leaders and then the thing dies because no one is working on the vision. Would we rather have a small piece of something or all of nothing? Collaboration works. Strategic alliances are powerful.
If we take the advice Jesus left in his Word, African Americans would not still be struggling today. I see so many people hoarding information and competing over crumbs that the real goal is lost. Jealousy is deadly. No one wins. We must learn to work together and quit drinking “hater-aide” and eating “hater tots.”
I’m like this: If I know your lane, I will try to help you. I won’t try to run in you lane. I will not reinvent a wheel and try to claim it was my idea. That’s dumb. If I see a need that is not being met and I feel strongly about it, I’ll create something. But if I see that need being met by another group, I will help that group or give them resources to do what they do best.
Giving instead of draining is what is important to me.
The point is really not about how I’m perceived but how the overall mission and purpose is accomplished.
We’ve got to check our motives constantly. That’s why the psalmist David said; “Search me, O God, and know my heart, and know my thoughts, and see if there be any wicked way in me and lead me in the way everlasting” (Psalm 139:24). Wicked means selfish, self-absorbed and trying to be self important. We know we’re God’s children and that should be enough. When we try to impress others – that’s when we lose our focus and destroy the purpose of very meaningful movements and organizations.
God has created each of us with a specific purpose. My flavor is not like yours – but they’re all needed in the cornucopia of life. There are oodles of things we can do. There’s a lot of our community needs. We don’t need to split hairs. God – not egos – should drive our mission in life. When we’re in a race, it shouldn’t matter who is going to cross the line and break the ribbon, but what part you played on the winning team.
Be the runner that passes the baton to the next runner – not the one who makes the team lose because you’re focusing on the wrong things.