Not Me, But We!

Rev. J. Loren Russell

Exodus 18:1, 5-6, 14-20 CEV

1 Jethro was the priest of Midian and the father-in-law of Moses. He heard what the Lord God had done for Moses and his people, after rescuing them from Egypt.
5-6 While Israel was camped in the desert near Mount Sinai, Jethro sent Moses this message: “I am coming to visit you, and I am bringing your wife and two sons.”
14 Jethro saw how much Moses had to do for the people, and he asked, “Why are you the only judge? Why do you let these people crowd around you from morning till evening?” 15 Moses answered, “Because they come here to find out what God wants them to do. 16 They bring their complaints to me, and I make decisions on the basis of God’s laws.” 17 Jethro replied: That isn’t the best way to do it. 18 You and the people who come to you will soon be worn out. The job is too much for one person; you can’t do it alone. 19 God will help you if you follow my advice. You should be the one to speak to God for the people, 20 and you should teach them God’s laws and show them what they must do to live right.

“No one can do everything, but everyone can do something. If everyone would do something, everything would get done.” I heard this phrase more than 40 years ago. It was true then and its true now. “None of us is as good as all of us” is another saying that holds as much truth today as it did when it was spoken. “It takes a village” is not just a catchy phrase, it is a statement of fact. When people join hands and work together, the impact is greater than any single person can accomplish on their own.

Jethro, the high priest of Midian and Moses’ father-in-law was impressed with what he heard about the Lord’s rescuing the Children of Israel from Egyptian slavery. He also was fascinated by the blessings they were receiving at the start of their early journey out of Egypt.

While the Israelites were camped near Mount Sinai, Jethro decided to pay him a visit. He bought with him Moses’ wife Zipporah and their children. Jethro knew that one of the blessings the Lord gave Moses was his family. It would take both the blessings and favor of God, as well as a village of supporters to get the Israelites to The Promised Land. The reunification of his family would bring Moses’ personal village back together. Even though Moses was being blessed and finding favor in the sight of God the Father, Jethro knew there were additional blessings in store for Moses when he reunited with his family.

While Jethro was visiting with Moses, he noticed Moses was spending an exorbitant amount of time judging the people’s disputes and disagreements. This certainly did not exemplify “no one can do everything.” It was Jethro’s intervention that bought “no one of us is as good as all of us” into Moses’ view. Almost burnt out, through the intervention of his father-in-law, Moses finally understands the concept, “Not me, but we.”

There are times in all of our lives when we think that we are the only ones who can get something accomplished. Maybe it’s one thing, or it could be another, but there are times when we think that the only way something is going to get done is if we do it ourselves. It is a good thing to see how a collective effort by family and community allowed The Children of Israel to successfully get to the Promised Land, even if it took 40 years. In 1 Corinthians 12:26, we are told “And if one member suffers, all the members suffer with it; or if one member is honored, all the members rejoice with it.”

We must strive to get to the level of understanding and recognize that it’s not me, but we. While we are striving, we must also come to know that none of us is as good as all of us, and that no one can do everything, but everyone can do something. If everyone would do something, everything would get done!

Be Blessed!

Rev. J. Loren Russell is an associate minister at Goodwill Baptist Church and is the spiritual leader of both LaGree Baptist Church and the Evangelical Church of God, all in the Bronx, President/CEO of The JLR Company for Church Financial & Strategic Consulting (718-328-8096), and hosts “Matters of Faith – The Radio Show” on Monday nights from 8:00 – 10:00 PM on Facebook Live. Be sure to Friend “Matters of Faith” on YouTube and email us at Order your copy of Matters of Faith: The eBook at

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