Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it. ~ 1Corinthians 12:27
As I dwell on the illustration Paul gives in 1Corinthians 12:12-31, I’m captivated by the brilliant design of the body of Christ. The uniqueness and function of each part illuminates God’s power, creativity and glory.
Chew on this with me. Think how different each body part is. Our hearts look, act, and function nothing like the lungs, yet both are desperately needed for a body to live. How about the foot and ear? Functioning so differently, yet what we hear impacts where our feet walk. Parts of the body sprawled out individually don’t look like much, but together they make this wonderful masterpiece created by God.
Why, with the illustration so clear in scripture, is there this tension to make us look the same? Even in churches that claim be friendly, there is a belief beyond Jesus as the way, truth and life that’s required; a mindset, or you don’t fit in. As I wrestle this out in my own depraved heart and mind I come to the realization; body parts function so well together because they do one thing…their part.
While every part is vastly different, all function because of one mind. The head is mighty and powerful and it tells the body what to do in perfect harmony. Jesus is the head of His body, the Church and He is the one who tells each part what to do when and how. When we’re functioning as God purposed, it’s not just powerful, but beautiful…the sweetness of unity!
While many things contribute to the breakdown of unity and malfunctioning of the body, three stand out above the rest.
- Jesus isn’t the head. When individuals or churches want to be head of the Church, you will find disunity. When we exalt anything over the name of Jesus division will follow. Little tower of Babel’s don’t make for a unified body of Christ.
- Pride. When we’re dogmatic about secondary issues, we’re headed for division. There is no perfect individual or church. Some may function healthier in certain seasons, but none are perfect and able to perform outside their intended purpose.
- Envy. Stop wanting what God has given to others so you can receive what He’s given to you. If our stomach wanted to be a lung, we’d be in trouble! Likewise, when we’re envious of others, we’re hurting the body and missing out on the glorious part God has for each of us.
Take a minute to check your heart. Do you think people should think, respond, and act like you? Do you discount or discredit people or churches in Jesus name because they function differently? This illustration is convicting. As we ponder, may our eyes be open to the importance of fixing them on Jesus and doing our part for the glory of God and the good of the body.
The human body is incredibly fascinating! What it can accomplish is beyond what we could imagine. Maximizing this potential as the bigger body of Christ comes together under Jesus….unstoppable!