“If the whole body were an eye, where would the sense of hearing be? If the whole body were an ear, where would the sense of smell be? But in fact God has placed the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be.” — 1 Corinthians 12:17-18
Teamwork is an essential concept in sports. The stars of a team need to understand the importance of the bench players, and the primary scorers should appreciate the shot blockers who provide defense. Rowing is a great example too — every part is necessary to efficiently move the boat. If each member isn’t in sync, the boat won’t get where it needs to be. If only one person is rowing, it may never get where it needs to go, at least not without utterly exhausting that person. Each member is necessary, and is part of the whole unit.
Just like each team has important parts and players to keep it efficient and effective, we can look to the many parts of the human body to see how the various parts cooperate so well. Each part is integral to the team. The brain, heart, lungs and kidneys all work together in harmony. Bones provide structure, support and protection for the whole body. The eyes, ears, mouth, hands and feet do their own unique duties. The whole body operates as a unit, but each individual member is valuable and should be treasured and handled carefully.
In the Bible, the individual church members are compared to the parts of our physical bodies. Just as fingers and toes are useful in their own way, every person is an important part of the church. “If the whole body were an eye, where would the sense of hearing be? If the whole body were an ear, where would the sense of smell be? But in fact God has placed the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be” (1 Corinthians 12:17-18). Every member should be appreciated and treated well. Jealousy and rivalry is not acceptable within churches.
As the brain sends signals to the hands and feet to perform tasks, Christians should communicate in a helpful way to do God’s work in communities and throughout the world. It doesn’t matter who gets the most attention as long as we do the Lord’s work well. “If you really keep the royal law found in Scripture, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself,’ you are doing right. But if you show favoritism, you sin and are convicted by the law as lawbreakers” (James 2:8-9).
Each part of the body does its part, but no part can do it all. We should understand our limits and not try to do everything. That’s why Moses was told to divide the work and let others share the load. “Moses’ father-in-law replied, ‘What you are doing is not good. You and these people who come to you will only wear yourselves out. The work is too heavy for you; you cannot handle it alone'” (Exodus 18:17-18). When Moses did too much, it was wrong, unhealthy and not good for his family or the people he served. How often do we find ourselves in a similar position to Moses, even finding ourselves on the edge of (or already experiencing) burnout? That isn’t God’s design or desire.
Each one of us has an important role in building God’s Kingdom, and we must learn to appreciate that others are called to build too. We are all on His team, and that means we should respect the nature of teamwork: working together for the same goals. This isn’t something we can — or should even try to — take on ourselves. We are called in unique ways, so let’s each shine for Him!
— Bill Kent, Pastor of Memorial Baptist Church, Sylvania, Georgia
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