THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 21
“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?”
1 Corinthians 12:15-17 (ESV)
INTERDEPENDENCE: THE BODY NEEDS YOU
In the summer of 1904, at the World’s Fair in St. Louis, it was hot and people were searching for something to help cool them off. A vendor named Arnold had just what they were looking for……something called ice cream. People lined up for what seemed like miles to get some of his cool and satisfying ice cream but there was one problem. Arnold was not prepared for the demand and ran out of paper bowls. Next to Arnold’s ice cream booth was a man named Ernest, a pastry chef who was making a Persian wafer dessert. Ernest also had a problem, his pastry was not selling. He noticed the problem Arnold was having and took some warm pastry and rolled it into a cone shape. He then went over and showed Arnold how the cone could hold a scoop of the ice cream. On that hot day during the World’s Fair in St. Louis the first ICE CREAM CONE was born! These two vendors worked together to solve problems and served a bigger purpose than one man alone could perform.
It’s no different when it comes to the Church. In order to get things done, God’s people need to work together. In 1 Corinthians 12:15 the foot and the ear are comparing themselves to the hand and the eye, and in their own estimation they view their own gifts as being of less value or being of no value at all in comparison to the gifts of the others. One member is looking down on or devaluing or denying his own gift. But notice that just because one member thinks this and expresses this thought, that does not make it true. It is not what we think that maintains our status as part of the body, it is the one-time action of God the Holy Spirit that makes us part of the body.
Any of us can feel insignificant in the body of Christ. We may say, “I have little to contribute to this ministry” or “I don’t really matter to this church.” God’s antidote for an inferiority complex in church is the reminder that the church needs diverse gifts to function properly.
Someone once told me the key to strengthening low income neighborhoods is utilizing the talents of the people who live there. Maybe the key to a healthy church is getting the people who already in the church but feel weak to become active. Have you ever struggled with feeling insignificant to church? After reading 1 Corinthians 12, what does God say about seemingly insignificant people with insignificant roles?