What if your foot decided that, since it was not a hand, it was gonna peace out? What if your eye decided it wanted to be an ear even though it structurally could not be? If we were missing any of these body parts, it would make it more difficult to do life. How much do we see this attitude in the church?
All of us sometimes want a role that is on stage. We might think, if I’m not preaching or playing an instrument on stage, I’m not going to be a part of the church. Maybe we want a teaching role or a role where we are in charge of a lot of people. Maybe the stage terrifies you but you still want a job where people obviously see you working. You want recognition. It is not bad to desire to use your gifts to serve the church. God has gifted us with spiritual gifts and talents that we are designed to use for the “common good” (v. 7) of others. But, we have to make sure we are operating in the area that God has called us to and not simply the one we think is the ‘best.’
Verse 11 shows us that the Holy Spirit “decides which gift each person should have.” When we want the spiritual gifts that we think are better or higher than others, we can become jealous and there can be division in the church. Spiritual gifts are all from the same God, so there is no need to boast or think more highly of your gift, ministry, or activity than others. Even though we may say one gift is better than another, the Lord is not doing that. In verses 4-6, Paul says “There are different kinds of spiritual gifts, but the same Spirit is the source of them all. There are different kinds of service, but we serve the same Lord.
God works in different ways, but it is the same God who does the work in all of us.” Our God has “glorious diversity” in the way He accomplishes His good purposes through us. It would be absolutely ridiculous for a foot to think they are not a part of our body because it is not a hand. Like where would we be if one of our body parts decided to do that? We’d be struggling. So as we serve, we have to remember that we are a valuable part of the body no matter what role we serve in.
Verses 22-23, “those parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, and the parts that we think are less honorable we treat with special honor.” Paul used this illustration to show how necessary each part of the body is. Verses 18-20 say, “But our bodies have many parts, and God has put each part just where he wants it. How strange a body would be if it had only one part! Yes, there are many parts, but only one body.” We are not all the same, but we are all a part of Christ’s body. So, we should be operating in the unity that should characterize the body of Christ by using the spiritual gifts he has given us without comparing to the right or left.
The Lord desires for there to be unity and harmony as his people use their spiritual gifts. In verse 22, Paul says that the parts that seem to be the weakest are really the most necessary. God made the body so that extra honor and care is given to the parts that are thought of as less so that there can be harmony among each part. This directly translates to the way spiritual gifts are in the church. We are supposed to use the spiritual gifts God has given us in the way God He uniquely designed us to. AND, we are to do that in unity.
One of my favorite passages is Ephesians 4:3-4, “Make every effort to keep yourselves united in the Spirit, binding yourselves together with peace. For there is one body and one Spirit, just as you have been called to one glorious hope for the future.” We are all called. We are all valuable. There is one body of Christ and we are all a part of it. So, let’s keep the peace between one another by confidently using the spiritual gifts we have been given without comparing ourselves to each other.