“If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand. If a house is divided against itself, that house will not be able to stand.” -Mark 3:24-25.
If someone from the 1700’s returned to today’s culture, I am not sure they would be as shocked by our technology as they would our polarization and division, thin skin, and entitlement mentality. This weeks musing is based upon one word, “versus.” The word, “versus” means to oppose, in contrast to, to be against. You have probably seen the abbreviated form, “vs,” in legal writing, when two parties go to court, i.e. “The State vs. John Q Public.” It is also a popular abbreviation when two sports teams or athletes compete, e.g., “Vikings vs. Seahawks.”
Often, this “versus” mentality starts when we are children…fighting over toys, treats, etc. A healthy individual will eventually grow out of this stage, but when it becomes a permanent character flaw, it is tragic. Did you know two terms that can be associated with versus strategy, “upper hand” and “leverage,” actually originated with arm wrestling! To get the upper hand in arm wrestling gives you leverage and the ability to soundly defeat your opponent. Now think about this…when a couple exchanges their wedding vows, it signifies two becoming one. So, if a husband and wife have become one…how does versus work in a marriage? Answer, IT DOESN’T! Versus will tear a marriage apart; just as much so, your business, your church, and yes, the government will fall apart if people are against one another. Together we stand; divided we fall. Pride comes before a fall, the impetus of versus.
If you can remember this one scripture all year, you will have the proper perspective that God can bless, “the earth is The Lord’s, and everything in it” – 1st Corinthians, 10:26. God, not us, owns everything. He blesses us out of HIS abundance. Here is a major misconception, “there are too many squirrels and not enough nuts, I have to scrap, fight, and compete to get my share.” Wrong. The truth is, God created way more than all of us would ever need in a lifetime. There are way more nuts then there are squirrels, the problem starts when the squirrels go nuts reacting to their own faulty perspective of God’s benevolence. Luke 12:24, “Consider the ravens: They do not sow or reap; they have no storehouse or barn, yet God feeds them. How much more valuable are you than the birds!”
If you had a wealthy father who left you an inheritance, would you have to fight for it? No–you would just receive it! If you live a life that is motivated more by giving than it is by receiving, you will never be able to exhaust your storehouse.
Let’s start our new year thinking not about me, but we, and let’s focus more on us, NOT versus. Oh, that we might be one.
Michael S. Tyrrell