My hope for you, my fellow spiritual warriors, is that there are divisions among you. Yes, you heard me right. I hope that there are certain things that divide you from each other, that you are separated. Excuse me now, as I elaborate in a semi-geeky fashion.
When slaying dragons, defending Kirkwall, and destroying blood mages, I prefer to be a rogue. What is a rogue? In this instance, the xbox game of Dragon Age II, it means that I am a dual blade carrying fighter. It means that my strength is my speed and my ability to evade and disappear. I am the only one who can disarm traps and pick locks. Without me, a lot of treasure chests remain unopened. My weakness is that I am harmed easily and my attacks are not the strongest. I prefer being a rogue during the game, but when it comes to choosing my three companions, it would be foolish for me to surround myself solely with rogues.
I need divisions. I need my tank to charge in and take the most hits. His ability to land staggering blows and endure more damage than I are necessary advantages of him. He may be slow, but his strength draws the attention of the enemies away from the rest of the team. My mage brings some crucial spells and the magic of healing. Not only can he boost the health of the fighters during a battle, but he can also raise them back to life after they have fallen. He is the medic of the group, but a medic who can also throw a rock fist into someones face and paralyze the enemies into easy prey. Then there is my range fighter. Sometimes it is my other mage who has lesser healing abilities, but stronger spells. Her darker magic is as powerful as they come. Primarily, it is my archer, another rogue, equipped with his crossbow. His ability to be outside of the fight allows him to target enemies tactfully and help injure the targets of his allies.
This is what I mean by divisions. Not petty disputes and silly arguments that divide us believers unnecessarily, but divisions between our gifts, our talents, and our roles. We cannot all be rogues. We cannot go into a fight without a healer. When my team is out of balance, if my tank fails and my healer cannot revive him right away, we suffer. If my archer is constantly attacked and no one is there to draw away the enemies, then he cannot properly do what he is gifted in doing.
The previous warrior verses that we discussed showed us the fighting men that came alongside King David. After those verses 1 Chronicles starts going through chapters that are lists and lists of divisions. It lists off the musicians, the priests, the leaders, and the army commanders.
“The third army commander, for the third month, was Benaiah son of Jehoiada the priest. He was chief and there were 24,000 men in his division. This was the Benaiah who was a mighty warrior among the Thirty and was over the Thirty. His son Ammizabad was in charge of his division.” – 1 Chronicles 27:5-6
Benaiah was a great warrior, one of David’s thirty mighty men when they were out in the desert, fighting for David’s kingship over Saul. Now this warrior has 24,000 men in his division and his son, Ammizabad, is in charge of one of those divisions.
Now how would it work if Ammizabad was jealous of an army commander? What would happen if he did not think his role as a division leader was important? Even more so, how would it be if Benaiah, the third army commander was jealous of the second army commander? If everyone wanted to be someone else, how would they accomplish anything? How would anyone be an effective leader? Or an effective follower?
We should not be jealous of the gifts of others. When we wish to be something other than what we are, we are belittling the gifts that God gave us. Being a leader is highly glorified, but being a follower is an essential part as well. How could anyone lead if no one would follow? If you have the gift of healing, heal. If you have the gift of prayer, pray. If you have the gift of discernment, discern. Do not waste your gifts on just being jealous of others.
Lets say you have two friends who have birthdays on the same day. If you know any twins then this works out perfectly. Your friends will have different personalities, different likes and dislikes. You appreciate them both equally, but in different ways. How would you feel if you took hours scouring the mall looking for the perfect gift for each one. You found two different gifts that you believe match the unique awesomeness of each friend. When you give them their gift, they open them eagerly, they stare at your gifts with thankful eyes, but then they look over at each other. They look at the gift you gave the other and for some strange reason they want the other gift instead. You watch in horror as they set aside the gift you carefully picked out for them and you watch them go and try to find that other gift, because they believe that the other person’s gift is the better one.
When we are jealous, we not only keep ourselves from fully exploring our gifts, but we hurt God who lovingly made us and gave us our gifts.
So maybe you are the rogue. Perhaps you are the tank. Possibly you are the healer. Or maybe you are the range fighter. One is not more important than the other. We need all of us, with all of our gifts, in order to make a strong fighting force. We need to build up all of our gifts in order to achieve victory.