You Really Matter!Daily Reflection / Produced by The High Calling
But our bodies have many parts, and God has put each part just where he wants it.
1 Corinthians 12:18
After the Apostle Paul left the church he had founded in Corinth, the believers there began to experience the power by the Holy Spirit working in and through them. Some of the Corinthian Christians placed so much value on their particular manifestations of the Spirit, in particular, speaking in tongues, that they discounted what others had experienced. In fact, the tongues speakers began to minimize the value of their brothers and sisters in Christ who had not spoken in tongues. Ironically and sadly, it seems that these brothers and sisters also started to doubt their value to the church.
Paul responded to this divisive situation by using the analogy of the human body. The body is composed of many different parts. In fact, if a body were nothing but a collection of eyes or ears, it would not be a body at all, but rather a very strange monstrosity. God made the human body to be a collection of diverse parts, "and God has put each part just where he wants it" (12:18).
Thus, it would be wrong for one foot to say, "I am not a part of the body because I am not a hand" or for a ear to say "I am not a part of the body because I am not an eye" (12:15-16). Moreover, it would be equally wrong for an eye to say to a hand, "I don't need you" or a head to say to the feet, "I don't need you" (12:21).
At this stage of his teaching in 1 Corinthians 12, Paul has not made obvious connections between his discussion of the diversity of the human body and the church, but these connections are obvious. The church, like the human body, is made up of diverse parts, and all parts are necessary. Thus we mustn't think that we don't really have anything to contribute to the church, or that others really don't matter. Every member of the church matters. That's how God has designed the church.
In my experience, there are times when certain Christians discount the value of others. But it's far more common, these days, for Christians to believe that they really don't matter. They say to themselves: "The pastors matter. The elders matter. The wealthy matter. But I don't really matter." On the contrary, Scripture teaches that you do really matter, that you are essential to the life, health, and growth of your church (see also Eph. 4:15-16).
QUESTIONS FOR REFLECTION: Do you believe that you really do matter in your church? If not, why not? What difference might it make in your life if you were to take seriously the value of each and every member of your church?
PRAYER: Gracious God, thank you for forming the body in its diversity and beauty. And thank you for making the church like the body, where every member matters.
Forgive me, Lord, for the times when I think and act in ways that contradict the true nature of the body of Christ. Even though I believe Paul's teaching in 1 Corinthians 12, I know there have been times in my pastoral life when I have acted as if I were more important to the church than others who were differently called and gifted. Forgive me for failing to help every member of my church understand how important he or she truly is.
Help your church, dear Lord, to have a fresh vision of who we are as the body of Christ. May we truly value each and every member, and be a healthy body in which every member does its part. May those of us in positions of leadership learn how to equip God's people for the work of ministry.
I pray in the name of Jesus, Amen.