Sunday, January 08, 2012

Spiritual Gifts and the Church (part 11): 1 Cor 12:14-16

"For the body is not one member, but many. 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." (1 Corinthians 12:14-16)
Paul acknowledges that the Corinthians were no strangers to the manifestations of the Spirit. He congratulates them that "in everything you were enriched in Him, in all speech and all knowledge... so that you are not lacking in any gift." (1 Corinthians 1:5-7) Yet he also writes them to correct some errors and problems there were experiencing with those manifestations. One of the problems that can limit us in manifesting the Spirit is when we minimize ourselves in comparison to others. Sometimes, because of our insecurities or as the result of bad teaching, we discount ourselves because we are not "a hand" or "an eye". We believe that others are appointed for the Body of Christ, but, in contrast, our lack disqualifies us as useful members.

I grew up in the church and, when I was young, there was the unspoken impression that, if you were really spiritual, you became a pastor. Later, when I was in college, those who were really spiritual became missionaries. Now, it seems that we perceive those who have visions of angels and work great miracles are the truly spiritual ones. The problem is that we are not all pastors, missionaries, and workers of miracles, yet we are all still parts of the Body; we may not be like others but we still have a place and a role within the Body of Christ.

When we minimize who we are in Christ, we hold back and rob the Body of the special favor and giftings we have in Christ. When we fail to play our part the Body is weaken. The Body needs us and what we have from God to grow in stature and strength. "The whole body, being fitted and held together by what every joint supplies, according to the proper working of each individual part, causes the growth of the body for the building up of itself in love." (Ephesians 4:16) The Body needs each one of us. Let us stop mimizing who we are and what we have and learn to play our part in contributing to the growth and health of the Body.

More to come... David Robison

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