Can you imagine if your whole physical body was a clamorous, jibber-jabbering mouth? Or if it was a big lumpy wad of knuckles? What if your whole body was made of tendons, with no bones, muscles, or tissues?
It is such a gift to have all our myriad body parts, so that we can rightly function as humans.
And what a gift it is to have the whole Body of Christ!
Talkative, out-reaching people, and introverted, analytical sorts who listen and help sort out issues… hugging, emotive kinds, and those who are more cautious and discerning. Deep-thinking ones, and those who are light-hearted and cheerful. (Not that any of those are mutually exclusive.) Each of us needs one another. We need the whole Body!
In 1 Corinthians 12, God put it like this:
The body does not consist of one member but of many. If the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body. And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body. If the whole body were an eye, where would be the sense of hearing? If the whole body were an ear, where would be the sense of smell? But as it is, God arranged the members in the body, each one of them, as he chose. If all were a single member, where would the body be? As it is, there are many parts, yet one body.
The eye cannot say to the hand, “I have no need of you,” nor again the head to the feet, “I have no need of you.” On the contrary, the parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, and on those parts of the body that we think less honorable we bestow the greater honor, and our unpresentable parts are treated with greater modesty, which our more presentable parts do not require. But God has so composed the body, giving greater honor to the part that lacked it, that there may be no division in the body, but that the members may have the same care for one another. If one member suffers, all suffer together; if one member is honored, all rejoice together.
Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it.
There are so many lessons there, but here are a few that I see (especially pay attention to #5!):
- We need one another!
- We need to quit wishing everyone was like us!
- We need to quit wishing we were different!
- God has made us how we are & given us the gifts and abilities that we have.
- His goal in making us different– (vv 24-25)– is “that there may be no division in the body, but that we might have the same care for one another.”
Did you catch that?
HE MADE US DIFFERENT SO THAT WE WON’T BE DIVIDED.
Interesting, isn’t it? We are tempted to cloister ourselves off with people who are just like us, because we have the sense that we’ll be divided if we are around people who are different from us, but God intentionally puts us in the Body with people who’re different from us, SO THAT there won’t be division, and so that we will care for one another.
- Who in your local Body of Christ are you tempted to remove yourself from because they have different gifts, or a different perspective (just like an eye has a different vantage point from a toe)?
- Do you (wrongly) believe that you are going to have division with people simply because God made you different?
- How is God teaching you, right now, to care for people who are quite different from you?
Images courtesy of adamr, Stuart Miles, Salvatore Vuono/FreeDigitalPhotos.net