In 1 Corinthians 12:27 the apostle Paul says, “Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it.”
This idea that the church is the “body of Christ” is pretty well-known. In fact, when people say that Jesus is the “head” (boss and brains) of the church, and that you and I are his “hands and feet,” this is where it comes from.
But there’s another implication we often miss.
If “each of you” is a part of the body of Christ, it means that each of you is also connected to other people in that same body. Just as our own bodies are effective because they benefit from eyes and ears and hands and knees, if you take one of those parts out of the mix, the rest of the body suffers.
In the same way, other people in the church NEED you to be more mature and effective. And you NEED them.
We downplay the role of other people in the church—the body of Christ—because we are so dramatically influenced by the highly individualistic society around us. That society focuses on the importance of “me, myself and I,” but not really other people. But get this:
Your presence can be someone else’s medicine.
Your insights can fill in someone else’s blind spots.
What you have to offer can be someone else’s answered prayer.
Because faith isn’t about being independent; it’s about inter-dependency.
As Paul says, each of you is a part of the body of Christ. Yes, you are the hands and feet of Jesus. But you are those hands and feet together. Remove yourself from the body and everyone suffers… including you.
Take the local church seriously. And your role within it.
You are someone’s missing piece. (And they are yours.)
By Matthew Ruttan
- Today’s “Up!” is based on my Sunday podcast from our current teaching series called “Team.” You can hear the 24 minute message here. Enjoy!