Several years ago while working as a Worship Pastor, the leader of the Youth Praise & Worship Team – who I will call Bob for the sake of anonymity – came to my office noticeably frustrated. I set aside what I was working on and asked him what was bothering him. He said, “Pastor Rodney my whole team got up and walked out – they quit.” I looked at him somewhat surprised and said, “You’re whole team?” He answered, “Yes!” I asked, “Even John? (Not his real name.) Bob replied, “Yes.”
Now to put this whole thing into perspective, John not only served on the Youth Praise Team, but also on the Main Team. I had worked with him for some time, and he was a model teen – the kind every parent hopes for. He was personally motivated, extremely personable and very respectful of everyone. This kid took college classes while still in high school and is a highly respected professional today.
Back to our story… When Bob told me that John had walked out alongside the other band members, I mustered the most pastorally pose I could and trying not to smile too much, I put my arm around Bob’s shoulder and said, “Bob, if your whole team walks out, it might be you.”
Our generation has a problem taking ownership of our lives. It’s easy to explain away why things are not working for us by pointing the finger at someone else. There is a strong seduction to the victim mentality that places blame at the feet of others as we adjust our halos.
No one has ever had the perfect life handed to them. Firstly, there is no such thing as a perfect life, and secondly, even a good life, must be earned. Sure, I know people who started out with more privilege, more money, better looks, etc. But in the end what they made of their life was wholly and completely up to them. I know wealthy people from the same families where some have thrived while others floundered and failed. I also know of poor or disadvantaged families that have produced some of the most impressive people who ever lived. Anyone heard of George Washington Carver or Abraham Lincoln?
It is so easy to look at our life and compare it to others, but as the Bible tells us,
“Do your own work well, and then you will have something to be proud of. But don’t compare yourself with others. We must each carry our own load.” (Gal 6:4-5)
So the next time you are tempted to point the finger for your challenges, offenses or failures, consider for a moment. It might be you.
You’re probably wondering what happened with Bob’s situation. Well, after our little talk, he found the band members and apologized to them for acting the way he did. They graciously forgave him and the music played on.
Father please bless our readers today. Grant all of us the wisdom to be the best we can be by taking ownership and responsibility of our own lives and looking for ways that we can humbly serve rather than feeling like everyone else should be serving us. Amen.