For we have many parts in one body, but these parts do not all have the same function. In the same way, even though we are many people, we are one body in Christ and individual parts connected to each other. We have different gifts based on the grace that was given to us. So if your gift is prophecy, use your gift in proportion to your faith. If your gift is serving, devote yourself to serving others. If it is teaching, devote yourself to teaching others. If it is encouraging, devote yourself to encouraging others. If it is sharing, share generously. If it is leading, lead enthusiastically. If it is helping, help cheerfully.Romans 12:4-8
Paul often uses the imagery of the body. [Rom 6:13, 12:5 ff, 1 Cor 12:12 ff, Eph 4:4 ff, 4:12 ff, Col 2:19] On a number of occasions those references are in the context of gifts apportioned to the body.
For we have many parts in one body, but these parts do not all have the same function . . . we are one body in Christ and individual parts connected to each other. We have different gifts based on the grace that was given to us. This is an example with which we can all identify. All of the parts are necessary to make up the whole. We must be rightly connected together. At the moment my little finger on my left hand is in pain. It was dislocated when I slipped on the stairs. There was severe pain because of the dislocation. When we are dislocated or disconnected there is pain.
And let the peace that comes from Christ rule in your hearts. For as members of one body you are called to live in peace.Colossians 3:15
Have you ever stopped to think that the body is not whole if you are not there contributing your gift? Many times we might wonder about whether we will go to the church service or not or attend the cell group or not. But most often we think those thoughts in the context of me, my needs, my desires. Do I want to go? Will I get anything out of it? But what about thinking of the consequences to the body if I am not there adding my gift. If my gift is not available because I am not there. A team needs all the players functioning in their right place to be complete. Stop and think about that.
Don’t expect everyone to be the same or operate in the same way. We are not and neither should we be. Even and especially in the case of the gifts as expressed through us, each one individually for the collective good. The gifts we have are by grace so don’t boast about them. Just be there to offer them to the body / the team when they are needed. It doesn’t matter who gets the glory.
- If prophecy – with as much faith as God has given you
- If serving – serving well / devote yourself to it.
- If teaching – teaching well / devote yourself to it.
- If encouraging – be encouraging.
- If giving – give generously.
- If leadership – take the responsibility seriously.
- If kindness – do it gladly.
Do all to the best of your ability. May you be the best gift bearer of that gift there can be.
There is more to dig from this section; more in the next Gem.
No matter how gifted you are, there will be times when you need to reach out to others and say, I need help, let’s get together. There’s power in ‘body unity’.Anon
Success bases our worth on a comparison with others, excellence measures us against our own potential.Ian Vail
Excellence is available to all living beings, but is accepted only by the few.Jon Johnston