It is interesting that earlier today I was contemplating how difficult it can be to impress upon a macho culture the importance of the man in a relationship humbling himself to serve the woman instead of look down upon her. This is a biblical principal that I continue to learn and try to implement; today Paul is talking of the same context, but this time in reference to the specific giftings of others.
1 Corinthians 12:21-27
21 And the eye cannot say to the hand, “I have no need of you”; or again the head to the feet, “I have no need of you.” 22 On the contrary, it is much truer that the members of the body which seem to be weaker are necessary; 23 and those members of the body which we deem less honorable, on these we bestow more abundant honor, and our less presentable members become much more presentable, 24 whereas our more presentable members have no need of it. But God has so composed the body, giving more abundant honor to that member which lacked, 25 so that there may be no division in the body, but that the members may have the same care for one another. 26 And if one member suffers, all the members suffer with it; if one member is honored, all the members rejoice with it. 27 Now you are Christ’s body, and individually members of it.
I’ve learned recently of the durability of the human eye when I accidentally got krazy glue in one of mine. Yet, the prescribed solution was not to do anything, that the eye would take care of itself and one must only be patient for the process to transpire. Think about the “weaker” parts of your body: eye, eardrum, pinky toe, brain, lungs, heart…these are all parts of our body that seem delicate and weak yet without them, we wouldn’t be able to function properly. They have a specific purpose and when everything works together, the body is able to function and perform well. So too is the church of Christ.
The hand honors the eye because it knows that without it, the hand doesn’t know where to go. Without the pinky toe, the body cannot properly balance itself. Without the lungs, the body cannot get an adequate supply of oxygen. Without the brain, the body cannot function and a heartless body is incapable of doing very much. So, what does the body do? The hands cover they eyes when they need to be protected. The rest of the foot provides support and strength to the pinky toe so it can balance the body. The ribs protect the lungs, the spine supports the brain, and the breastplate protects the heart. The body takes care of itself because it knows that if one of its parts is suffering, then so too is the body.
A good parallel is a football team. Usually there are only a few “stars” on the team because of their position. Yet, when someone tries to give credit to one of these stars, they usually point the credit to someone else. The star quarterback gives credit to the offensive line for giving him the time to throw the ball. The star receiver gives credit to the quarterback for throwing the ball where it needed to go. The kicker gives credit to the spotter holding the ball or the center tossing it to him. The coach gives credit to the team for working together effectively.
Why can’t we do this as the body of Christ? Can the hand put its own bandage on when it is cut or broken? Can the eyeball cover itself? Can the heart or lungs withstand sharp powerful blows on their own? Yet, as a church congregation we try to “go it alone” and think we don’t need to rely on anyone else. We look down upon the “lesser” people, from our perspective, and disregard them. Remember that God uses the weak to humble the strong. If anything, we should consider that it is through the perceivably weaker parts of The Body that God is going to use for the biggest projects. We need to get over ourselves and start working like the body of Christ instead of a bunch of individualistic know-it-alls.