• Jill Jarrell Newsome

Cooperation Not Competition

Paddy was driving down the street in a sweat because he had an important meeting and couldn't find a parking place. Looking up to heaven he said, "Lord take pity on me. If you find me a parking place I will go to mass every Sunday for the rest of me life and give up my Irish whiskey. "Miraculously, a parking place appeared. Paddy looked up again and said, "Never mind, Lord. I found one."


Do you get annoyed when you come up with something and someone else takes the credit? Most of us do but we do it to God all the time. He is the one who gives us the ideas and provisions to accomplish things. The Corinth church was fighting over who the leader was. Paul started the church but Apollos taught there and impressed the people with his speaking skills. Paul tries to tell them to give credit to God. ‭‭1 Corinthians‬ ‭3: 6-7‬, "I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God has been making it grow. So neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow."


Neither Paul nor Apollos are saviors. They are not the gospel nor the Holy Spirit. They are not God. The harvest that is produced through them does not originate with them. They just serve. 1 Corinthians 3: 5, "What, after all, is Apollos? And what is Paul? Only servants, through whom you came to believe—as the Lord has assigned to each his task." They do what God calls them to do. He will do the rest. Verse 8, "The one who plants and the one who waters have one purpose, and they will each be rewarded according to their own labor." They have one purpose and that is to further God's Kingdom. They have one message and that is to preach the gospel.


Paul tells us to keep our ministry simple. Plant and water. We are all servants of Christ. Jesus told us what our attitude should be in Matthew 20: 28, "...just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” We are not in competition but cooperation.


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