Recently, a photograph surfaced online that showed an early version of Sony’s PlayStation game system. To me, it just looked like an old cable box. But when I looked closer, I saw that this version had both a cartridge slot as well as a CD-ROM. But what really caught my eye was Nintendo’s logo prominently displayed across the controllers. I had to stop and ask – how could these two video game titans have worked together? Wouldn’t this collaboration give one an advantage over the other? It was that thought that led me back to the scriptures.
In the Book of Ecclesiastes, Solomon writes,
“Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up… Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken” (Ecclesiastes 4:9-10, 12 NIV).
We know that from the beginning we were created for relationship with God and the rest of his creation. But sometimes we fear that cooperation might undermine our success. Whatever we accomplish should be achieved on our own. But we know this isn’t right.
Over the last few years, I’ve seen some amazing growth in our churches around the world. And I’ve also observed that often this growth has been due in large part to the spirit of collaboration our members have. It has been said more than once that we give “relational theology” a whole new definition! And I can’t agree more. Many of our churches have found that thoughtful partnering with other churches, service groups or community organizations has enabled them to participate more fully in the work that Christ is doing around them. And I think they’re finding out that, as the Bible also says, “iron sharpens iron.”
Nintendo and PlayStation haven’t engaged in much collaboration lately. Both are still vying for dominance in the multi-billion-dollar video game marketplace. But I know at GCI, we’re ready, willing and able to seek out Christ and join with those he has woven into his divine life to accomplish his redemptive work.
I’m Joseph Tkach, Speaking of LIFE.