God has placed the members, each one of them, in the body, just as He desired. If they were all one member, where would the body be?
–1 Corinthians 12:18-19
As the body of Christ, we are the visible representation of Jesus Christ on this earth. That is why it is so important for the church to be functioning in unity. But there is also diversity in the body of Christ. As Paul wrote, “The body is not one member, but many” (1 Corinthians 12:14).
Some Corinthians in the church felt inferior because of their spiritual gifts. They said, “I do not have the gift of prophesy or leading or teaching, so maybe I am not that important.” I hear people say that today: “I cannot teach a Sunday school class. I cannot give a million dollars. Maybe I am not that important in the local body of believers.” When people feel that way, they tend to isolate themselves from the church, and spiritually they become like a piece of charcoal that is removed from a fire–it turns cold very quickly.
So Paul addressed this idea of inferiority. He wrote, “If the foot says, ‘Because I am not a hand, I am not a part of the body,’ it is not for this reason any the less a part of the body. And if the ear says, ‘Because I am not an eye, I am not a part of the body,’ it is not for this reason any the less a part of the body. If the whole body were an eye, where would the hearing be? If the whole were hearing, where would the sense of smell be?” (vv. 15-17).
The body needs many parts to function effectively. Just look at your human body. What if your body were one giant eyeball? You might have twenty-twenty vision, but it would be hard to hear anything, smell anything, or touch anything. Or what if you were one giant ear or one giant nostril? There would be nothing more unattractive, impractical, and ineffective. We need all the parts of our bodies in order to perform the functions God has given us to perform.
It is the same way in the body of Christ. What if everybody had the gift of prophesy, and we all went around convicting one another of sin? What an unpleasant church that would be! Or what if everybody had the gift of serving? Then there would be nobody to lead. The body needs all its parts in order to function. Look at verses 18-19: “God has placed the members, each one of them, in the body, just as He desired. If they were all one member, where would the body be?”
Your spiritual gift, whatever it is, is important to the body of Christ. If you do not have one of those upfront, showy gifts, do not allow that to isolate you from the rest of the body. All the parts of the body are needed.
Today’s devotion is excerpted from “Unified but Not Uniform” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2011.
Scripture quotations taken from the (NASB®) New American Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1960, 1971, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission. All rights reserved. www.lockman.org.