1 Corinthians 12 is a chapter I’ve heard more than a few times growing up in church, and even more as I find it to be a powerful way to talk about partnerships and what God does between two churches coming together from North America and Haiti. But today as I listened to it read out loud to me, a section of the verses stuck out to me that never have before.
“Yes, the body has many different parts, not just one part. 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?” (1 Corinthians 12:14-16)
If your foot decides that it doesn’t accept being a foot, it was still made to be a foot. The only thing that does is cripple the rest of the body.
I currently have a cast up to my knee due to a broken ankle. Of course my mind jumped to this, thinking “What if instead of a fall, this happened because one bone in my body simply said nope. I’m not an ankle.” My entire body is affected by one fractured bone! I am slower, the rest of my body has taken on more work, there is strain on body parts being over used that are not meant to carry so much weight. Other parts of my body swell from overuse, the muscles are wasting away from not being used. Of course, even if my ankle decided it was not an ankle…it is still an ankle. And if it decides it is not, everything else suffers. Things don’t work the way that our Creator planned perfectly.
Every single person was purposely stitched to be a part of the body. Without their piece, the rest suffers. The body is slower, other parts take on work that they shouldn’t, there are jobs that can’t happen because all energy goes to make up for part of the body that isn’t working correctly.
We cannot afford to have body parts that say that they are not a part of the body.
You were made to breathe life, specifically you as you are.
There are the senders, sacrificing financially or time and talent to fundraisers. There are the encouragers. There is the prayer team. There are those who lead. There are those behind the scenes, getting what needs done for the leader to be freed up for their talents. There are those with the gift of hospitality and those who know their way around an engine. There are those who think in numbers and those whose primary language is feelings. Every single person is a vital part of the body, meant to be a part of the whole.
We can’t afford for you to not claim your worth and purpose in the body of Christ. To deny who you are within the body. We all suffer if you stand in the place of an ankle, without embracing the role of being an ankle. We need you.
Maybe for you, this means action that you have put off since your experience trip. Maybe it’s praying at 11:11 for a movement vitally in need of your petition to God on our behalf. Maybe you keep seeing the career page being shared on social media, but you don’t let yourself take the next step.
Take a deep breathe. Pray. And embrace your place in the body of Christ.
You were not made simply to breathe in. You were created to breathe life into the world.