Spiritual Law of Synergy
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One of my favorite Bible verses is Romans 8:28: “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose” (NIV). This verse doesn’t suggest that everything that happens to us is good, that every cloud has a silver lining. Rather, it describes the spiritual law of synergy. It says God combines each event in our lives with everything else we’ve experienced and compounds the overall result for our benefit.
The original language reads in part, “God works together all things for good to the ones called ….” The Greek word translated “works together” is synergeo, from which we get our English word, “synergy.” Both words refer to a combining of various things and processing them to produce a unified, compounded result; a result greater than the sum of its parts, such as 1 + 1 = 10. In fact, this 5-to-1 compounding ratio is biblical (Lev. 26:8, a covenant blessing; Deut. 32:30, a covenant curse).
In the New Testament we have such verses as Matthew 18:20, “For where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them.” This states that when two or three believers come together — suggesting unity, not just a gathering — God also shows up, which means the results will be far greater than mere humans can produce.
A final thought on Romans 8:28 deals with the “good” God produces. The next verse states, “For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers.” The first word, “for,” means the author is about to tell us what God has in mind when he synergistically works everything together for us: he’s making us like his Son, Jesus.
That is, God combines everything we experience — the good, the bad, the wonderful, the traumatic, the blessing, the trial — and combines them synergistically to produce the greatest benefit, which is for us to become like Jesus. Only when we understand this can we give thanks to God the Father for everything (see Eph. 5:20).
Recognizing how this law compounds the results of our efforts should motivate us to associate and work with Christians who share our beliefs. It also helps us acknowledge God’s involvement in our lives and activities, so we rely on him to use our efforts to produce what for us would be extraordinary results.