I have a question for you – are you doing your part?
1 Corinthians 12:12-14
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.
In 1 Corinthians 12, Paul is addressing the church of Corinth in regards to spiritual gifts and callings. There had apparently arisen some argument or disagreement about spiritual gifts, and it was reaching the point that members of the church were all seeking the same gifts – at the expense of others. There are some gifts which are obviously more public than others – for example, being a preacher, or speaking in tongues. This is not an exhaustive list of the gifts of the spirit, but an example to help deal with a specific problem the church had.
Paul’s analogy is that we are all part of one ‘body’ – the body of Christ. This ‘body’ is the church – and for the church to be effectual, everyone in the church will have different strengths, gifts and abilities. And it is the combination of these things that make us a whole body – and allow us to fulfill Gods purpose in this world.
You see, I have been thinking about this a bit lately. Why? Firstly, I think God has been keeping it on my heart – I am asking myself am I doing all that I should be? But secondly, it has been revealed to me in a much more personal way.
You see, yesterday I was playing around with my 11 year old son. He was bragging about how big he was getting – at which point ‘daddy’ picked him up on his shoulder, flipped him around a bit and put him back down, because that’s what Dads do. 30 seconds later, I almost couldn’t stand up. By the end of the day – I couldn’t stand up at all! I couldn’t even roll from by back to my side without pure agony. You see, something in my back decided that the extra strain of holding my son on my shoulder and lowering him was more than it was happy with – and it has quit. Decided to take its bag of cookies and go somewhere else. It is no longer performing it’s part.
I am sure it is just a small part – just one small little thing in my back. It’s not even visible, whether functioning or not. But that doesn’t matter – it has decided not to do its part – and my whole body is now suffering. It hurts to lie down, it is agony to stand up and move. It is even kind of difficult right now to hold the laptop in a way so that I can type on it and keep my back comfortable. Don’t worry – I am not asking for sympathy here (though if you feel like praying for healing, please do!). What I have is a perfect example of what happens when one part of the body decides not to work.
Not only is that part of the body not functioning, all of the body is affected. Now whether it was my hand, foot, eye, ear or back – all of them play a part. It just turns out that the part that is not working for me today is more critical than some others for day to day things. Yet despite its criticality, it is invisible. So, enough of me.
What part do you play in the body of Christ? By that, I mean what has God called you to do? For me I know God has called me to serve, called me to write and to teach. But I know if we all did that, who would do the rest? These are just things I have been called to do.
Now once you have answered that question, next comes the hardest one – are you doing it? God has given you specific talents, gifts, strengths, and even weaknesses, so that you can be part of his body, help fulfill the churches mission in this world. Whether visible or not, critical or or not, whether acknowledged or not – whatever God has called you to do, it is for a purpose. And part of that purpose is to be a part of the whole body of Christ, that Gods divine purpose will be achieved in this world.
Without you – the body of Christ is disabled in some way.
Are you doing your part?
Lord God, show us where you would have us be. Show us the gifts you have given us, and help us use them. Teach is not to be envious or jealous of others who have been given different gifts, but teach us where you want us to use the ones you have given us. In Jesus Name. Amen.