By Leah A. Jacobson
“And blessed is the one who takes no offense at me.” ~ Luke 7:23
Collaboration, not Competition
A popular book amongst non-profit leaders has opened up a dialogue about a phenomenon that is evidently as old as the Gospels; the scarcity mindset. In his 2018 book, Rooting for Rivals, author Peter Greer talks about how minor differences between great ministries and organizations can pit leaders, who should be on the same team, against each other in a fierce competition. We split hairs and decide that others’ success threatens our own. We fear there is not enough money to go around and think we can’t possibly both be successful. Today’s Gospel tells us that we need not fear scarcity and that we can always trust in the Lord’s abundant provision.
John the Baptist was very popular and was the modern-day equivalent of an influencer. If he was on IG, I’m betting he’d have had a million+ followers. He could have seen the new rising star, Jesus of Nazareth, as competition. But instead, he sent followers to ask Jesus directly if He was THE One, the long-awaited Messiah. And Jesus responds graciously by acknowledging that John could feel threatened by all the good work he was doing and reassures him. He pointed at the miracles and said, “And blessed is the one who takes no offense at me.” Then he says a few verses later, “I tell you, among those born of women, no one is greater than John.” Luke 7:28 This kind of charitable leadership provides a roadmap for cooperation with God’s will.
Lord, please help me to respond to the perceived threat of Jesus’ message with the humility of John the Baptist, who is quoted as saying, “He must increase; I must decrease.” John 3:30
Call to Action
Is there someone in my life who is “on my team,” yet I pick little fights that divide us? Today, let me cheer for others who are doing the Lord’s work and have the humility at times to step aside.
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