Some of the most encouraging words for a Christian feeling lost in the big picture can be found in 1 Corinthians 12 and Romans 12. I’d love to post every line here, but instead, I urge you to look it over right now.
1Corinthians 12:13 Some of us are Jews, some are Gentiles, some are slaves, and some are free. But we have all been baptized into one body by one Spirit, and we all share the same Spirit.
If you just glance over these scriptures, it can get confusing. You may begin to try and figure out exactly what part you are: the pinky toe, right eyeball, or left ring finger. That path of thought could then lead to you figuring out everyone else’s role. If I’m the ring finger, my not-so-favorite cousin must be the callus-covered heel. Stop right there!
Romans 12:3-5 Because of the privilege and authority God has given me, I give each of you this warning: Don’t think you are better than you really are. Be honest in your evaluation of yourselves, measuring yourselves by the faith God has given us. Just as our bodies have many parts and each part has a special function, so it is with Christ’s body, and we all belong to each other.
There is no ejecting the people/parts that we like the least. There’s no cool club, VIP section or MVP player, except for the head, also known as Christ. Everyone else must – to make a long story short – get in where they fit in.
1Corinthians 12:15-16 If the foot says, “I am not a part of the body because I am not a hand,” that does not make it any less a part of the body. And if the ear says, “I am not part of the body because I am not an eye,” would that make it any less a part of the body?
1Corinthians 12:21-22 The eye can never say to the hand, “I don’t need you.” The head can’t say to the feet, “I don’t need you.” In fact, some parts of the body that seem weakest and least important are actually the most necessary.
It sounds a little silly to think of body parts arguing with each other. But that feeling of silliness is where the connections between the literal and figurative meanings of the Word can be found. Instead of the eye arguing with the hand, replace them with your name and the name of someone in your church with different skills or opinions than you. Substitute them with someone whose viewpoint doesn’t line up exactly with yours. Or how about someone you may think of as weak, out of place and just not fit for this life? It wasn’t so silly when I made it personal.
Romans 12:6-8 In his grace, God has given us different gifts for doing certain things well. So if God has given you the ability to prophesy, speak out with as much faith as God has given you. If your gift is serving others, serve them well. If you are a teacher, teach well. If your gift is to encourage others, be encouraging. If it is giving, give generously. If God has given you leadership ability, take the responsibility seriously. And if you have a gift for showing kindness to others, do it gladly.
It’s not pew one against pew two, Praise and Worship Ministry vs. Prison Outreach or left arm vs. right. We are all a part of the same body.
Ephesians 4:16 He makes the whole body fit together perfectly. As each part does its own special work, it helps the other parts grow, so that the whole body is healthy and growing and full of love.