Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "Blessed Assurance"1 (Lyrics)

One of our main objectives as parents is to prepare our children to be successful adults. We're delighted when our children remember their "please" and "thank you" and learn how to be good team players. But, if our teenagers don't show any signs of sincere gratitude, such ungrateful attitudes are usually a sign of a person who believes that they are entitled to whatever they want!

James 3:16 – For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there will be disorder and every vile practice. (ESV)

Watching our teenage son being swept up in this selfish behaviour, we chose to send him to an outbound school run by lay ministers. Every winter, the boys went on snowshoe runs that lasted for most of the day. Each team was divided equally with both strong and weaker boys. Team leaders would tie a long scarf around their waist and around the waist of their most vulnerable member. This was called "scarfing." There was never any animosity, just one goal in sight, and that was to ensure that every individual would finish the race.

Talk about character building! Many CEOs of successful companies realize that their company's successes lie in the strength of the collective team, not in a single individual. Growth and strength depend on their unity of purpose.

Our Sovereign God created us to be team players, not to stand alone. Church leaders know that to build up the church body and grow in faith, we need each member to be a team player.

Philippians 2:3-5 – Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others. Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus. (NIV)

The bottom line is that we need each other. How much sweeter the taste of success is when it is shared with others as team players.

"What separates privilege from entitlement is gratitude." – Brene Brown

Prayer: Dear God, please fill us with Your Spirit of love and unity among believers. Teach us to set aside our differences and look to the greater cause, the cause of Christ. Help us to live a life full of love and compassion for one another. Unite us in spreading Your gospel. Amen.

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About the author:

Lois Macdonald <loismacs5@gmail.com>
Oshawa, Ontario, Canada

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    May it be so, Lois.


    Glad that ‘scarfing’ helped YOUR son, Lois but it must’ve been dreaded by many. I sure would’ve been ‘scarfed,’ all the time. I can imagine praying, ‘not me, please God. not ME again!’ Oh goodness me. Makes me relive adolescence all over again. Thanks for a wake-up story.


    Good morning Lois,
    Good devotional this morning, it takes a team to succeed in so many things – in sports, in work and in the church. But we also need a good leader, which we have in Christ Jesus our Lord.
    Thank you for writing.


    Thank you, Lois. Please and thank you are very important. I get a bit discouraged by the lack of it now a days. It always warms me when another person, especially a young person, has the good manners to show appreciation.
    God Bless,
    (B.C.)


    Lois, your devotional touch my heart. Entitlement is the weakest link!
    I find myself reflecting on my motives in dealing with our Church members. Thank you for your devotional, for your contribution to my Spiritual life and for your faith. Thanks to all those who are involved in bringing the PresbyCan Devotionals.
    Thank you so much!


    Good Morning Lois. As I read your devotional this morning, it reminded me of a dear friend who died recently. He spent part of his youth in a children’s home because of family problems. He was never deterred. He worked hard and went on to own his very successful company, but I think more importantly instilled in his children, who enjoyed many “benefits” he did not have, that if you put God first and then work hard, you will succeed. And those children have. We live in a small town and you do not see entitlement here. These people love the Lord and work hard!
    Thank you for your devotional writing.


    That could not have been easy decision, both psychological and financially.
    Good for you. Teamwork is extremely important in life.


    This is so, so true!! Should be headlines of all newspapers.
    Thank you.

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