The Body

By Donna Smith

Remember the days before e-mail? If you wanted to communicate with someone, you actually had to either pick up the phone (and the base was connected to the handset with a long, curly cord!), write a letter and mail it, or talk to the person face-to-face. Today’s technology has gradually made e-mail the norm when it comes to communication. In keeping with the times, I subscribe to a daily e-mail devotional called “The Year of the Bible.” It is Scripture…nothing else…no scholar’s interpretation, no commentary. Some days the devotional e-mail gets buried in my inbox with other e-mails that somehow are deemed “more important” and therefore get read first. On these days, unfortunately the online devotional gets only a cursory look before being sent to the “trash” folder without me ever really fully comprehending the truths contained in the words.

However, there was something about today’s scripture that got my attention. Maybe it was the simple wording, or maybe it was that I allowed the Holy Spirit to show me truths that I haven’t thought about in a while.

I love the uncomplicated language of today’s text from I Corinthians 12 (Contemporary English Version):

Our bodies don’t have just one part. They have many parts. Suppose a foot says, “I’m not a hand, and so I’m not part of the body.” Wouldn’t the foot still belong to the body? Or suppose an ear says, “I’m not an eye, and so I’m not part of the body.” Wouldn’t the ear still belong to the body? If our bodies were only an eye, we couldn’t hear a thing. And if they were only an ear, we couldn’t smell a thing. But God has put all parts of our body together in the way that he decided is best.

A body isn’t really a body, unless there is more than one part. It takes many parts to make a single body. That’s why the eyes cannot say they don’t need the hands. That’s also why the head cannot say it doesn’t need the feet. In fact, we cannot get along without the parts of the body that seem to be the weakest. We take special care to dress up some parts of our bodies. We are modest about our personal parts, but we don’t have to be modest about other parts.

God put our bodies together in such a way that even the parts that seem the least important are valuable. He did this to make all parts of the body work together smoothly, with each part caring about the others. If one part of our body hurts, we hurt all over. If one part of our body is honored, the whole body will be happy.

Together you are the body of Christ. Each one of you is part of his body.

What an amazing analogy God has presented here! It’s so easy to understand, so easy to identify with. It’s effortless to take all of our parts for granted until something stops working as it should. We all know how vitally important our heart is to our existence. However, our little pituitary gland, about the size of a pea, controls many of our body’s significant functions, such as our growth, yet it’s never really thought about until it doesn’t function properly. It’s located where no one can see it from the outside. Does that make it any less important? Psalm 139:14 tells us that we (our physical bodies) are “fearfully and wonderfully made.” I think the same thing can be said for believers who make up the “body of Christ” spoken of in the above scripture. Aren’t we thankful for those in our body who we all know are gifted as exhorters and teachers? Unfortunately, sometimes society (as well as churches) places too much emphasis on those in the forefront. However, we can’t forget those who may be a “pituitary gland,” tirelessly working where no one can see them, faithfully doing their part to help the body of Christ function as it’s designed to. Can you imagine what would happen if we all worked together as we should? No jealousy, no resentment for those in more prominent places of leadership…just realizing that every part is invaluable. The next time you are in your place of worship, look around and notice those who aren’t “out there”…the prayer warriors, the servers, the merciful, the givers, all of the “behind-the-scenes saints”…and realize that without them the body would be a mess!

I love this verse: “But God has put all parts of our body together in the way that he decided is best.” (I Corinthians 12:18) Maybe you struggle with feeling that you aren’t worthy…that you aren’t anything that God could use. Wrong! You are so important to Him. God created you for this special purpose! How thrilling it is when we grasp this truth. God wants us to function as a healthy body with each part taking care of all the other parts. So, whether you consider yourself an arm, leg, foot, hand, heart, or even a pituitary gland, realize your importance to the body and let’s take care of each other and work together for the greater good of His kingdom.