I’ll take work or school group projects as an example. It is, unfortunately, not uncommon to be assigned to a unit where there is, at least, one member who does not commit to help but rather “rides on the coat-tails” of the rest. As the others invest in the project at hand and strive toward success, the one does not. Further, he or she might even do things to thwart the efforts of the others. Sometimes there are circumstances that hold this team member back. Other times he or she is only after self-gain at the expense of the team.
I believe many, if not all, of us have been in this sort of situation before…whether it be at school, work, home, etc. When it is the latter situation mentioned above, what is one to do about it? I am sure there are a series of steps one can take to try to remedy the issue, and let us say we have tried…everything. Then what?
Working as a team is not foreign to those who follow Christ Jesus. Infact, quite the opposite! God gave us “the body of Christ” (1 Corinthians 12:27, Romans 12:5) for one! He designed us to support, encourage, love, inspire, hold each other accountable (Proverbs 27:17), etc. Secondly, He sent out his followers “two by two”.
1 After this the Lord appointed seventy-two others and sent them on ahead of him, two by two, into every town and place where he himself was about to go. (Luke 10:1. ESV.)
We were created to work together, not alone. That, of course, does not mean to take advantage and not do one’s own part. No, not at all. Each of us have varying talents and roles to contribute. Like God’s word says,
14 For the body does not consist of one member but of many. 15 If the foot should say, "Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body," that would not make it any less a part of the body. 16 And if the ear should say, "Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body," that would not make it any less a part of the body. 17 If the whole body were an eye, where would be the sense of hearing? If the whole body were an ear, where would be the sense of smell? 18 But as it is, God arranged the members in the body, each one of them, as he chose. 19 If all were a single member, where would the body be? 20 As it is, there are many parts, yet one body.
21 The eye cannot say to the hand, "I have no need of you," nor again the head to the feet, "I have no need of you." 22 On the contrary, the parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, 23 and on those parts of the body that we think less honorable we bestow the greater honor, and our unpresentable parts are treated with greater modesty, 24 which our more presentable parts do not require. But God has so composed the body, giving greater honor to the part that lacked it, 25 that there may be no division in the body, but that the members may have the same care for one another. 26 If one member suffers, all suffer together; if one member is honored, all rejoice together. (1 Corinthians 12:14-26. ESV.)