Thursday, February 19, 2015

Huddle Up and Love Your Neighbor

In college, a couple of guys recruited me to play on an intramural football team. They promised that our team would be great. They recruited several guys who had won awards playing high school football. I joined and looked forward to the game.

I showed up on game day and found my teammates. Everyone was there, except for the two guys who had recruited me to play. The people who had the idea to put the team together were nowhere to be found.

We huddled up and tried to organize ourselves. As I waited for direction, I looked around the huddle. I realized everyone was looking at me. They were waiting for me to give them direction. Though I hadn’t asked for the responsibility, I was given it.  I was put in charge.

In life, there are times when we are given authority and responsibility. Often, the stakes are much higher than a game.  We have to figure out what to do with our new found influence.  We may not have asked for it. We may not have expected it. But, there are times we are given it regardless.

The scriptures offer some direction for times like that. It is simple and important direction.  This is it: use the authority you have been given for the greatest benefit of others. When people look to you for direction, leverage authority for their greatest benefit (as one pastor puts it).

In the scriptures, Jesus teaches His people to love their neighbors as themselves. That includes situations where we are the most influential person in the room. We use our influence for our neighbor’s greatest benefit, treating them the way we would like to be treated.

The next time you look around life’s huddles and realize everyone is looking to you, remember the teachings of Jesus. Love your neighbor. Use your authority for their greatest benefit. As you do, you will find great satisfaction in the people around you. You’ll also find yourself honoring Jesus Christ – which is the greatest victory of all.

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