An Arrogant Body

For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ.  For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body – Jews or Greeks, slaves or free – and all were made to drink of one Spirit.

For 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…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 honor we bestow the greater honor…

1 Cor 12:12-15, 22-23

I’m often reminded of how much emphasis Jesus placed on unity.  He modeled it, taught about it, and prayed about it.  Of course if our Lord placed an emphasis on something in His life, perhaps we should learn why and strive to do the same.  Within the Church, there are well-intentioned believers who think they have a “handle” on what God’s will is…for everyone!  In other words, using Paul’s analogy to the Corinthians, an eye might say to the foot, “You’re not doing it right.  Watch what I do.”

In the Church there are those who believe they and they alone have a discerning spirit.  They’re willing to tell the community what needs to happen, how it needs to happen, and when is the right time.  The trouble is: When these people don’t like how things are going or the timing of things, they become frustrated and question the validity of the community.

The same well-intentioned believers are also available to tell each person in the community what their particular gift is.  And they are happy to do so.  The trouble is: When those in the community don’t use the gifts like they’ve been advised, their commitment is questioned.

Of course we in the Church are to hold each other accountable to be what Christ desires us to be.  We need constant encouragement to persevere to the end.  But how arrogant is it that one or two people in a community think they have a “handle” on what God wants to do?  Your gift is what God says – not what someone else thinks it should be!  Our role in the Church (discipleship, missions, service, etc.) should be defined by God and not others.  It’s much safer that way.

If you’re a hand, stop listening to a foot.  Be a hand.  If you’re an eye, understand all parts of the body have a function.  You might not like their function.  But be what God called you to be – an eye!  That’s how the body works.

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6 Responses to “An Arrogant Body”

  1. Our role in the Church (discipleship, missions, service, etc.) should be defined by God and not others. It’s much safer that way.

    This is so true! What a blessing it is to be free to listen and act on what God has in store for us, and to use our gifts as God intended! I really feel that our church supports all of us, I absolutely love to serve and I know I am in a church that I can grow and learn! With God it is always safe!

    • Diane,
      We are truly blessed at FCC. You are a great part of that blessing. BTW, we’re praying for the shoulder (and rehab) over the next few weeks. Have a great day!

  2. All members of the body have worth; if only each member would acknowledge that worth in ever other member and each be the part of Christ’s body that He intended… what wonderful things would be contributed to the spiritual life of our church – great thought provoking post Mike!

  3. nmpreach, Wise words. What a powerful analogy from scripture, in the Body of Christ! Thanks.

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