Gifted: Hurting Together

“But God has combined the members of the body and has given greater honor to the parts that lacked it, so that there should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other. If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it.” (1 Corinthians 12:24-26)

Yesterday, we talked about unplanned finger-ectomies. Dead fingers. Missing digits. But what if you just cut your finger most of the way off? Honestly, that would hurt for way longer than just cutting it all of the way off. Percentage-wise, your fingers aren’t that big a part of your body. But when your fingers are in agony, your whole body is paying attention.

dock_350Paul said the church should be like that. None of the spiritual gifts makes that person more important than the rest of the people. Every believer is equal and connected. We should hurt just as deeply for the wounded person who sits next to us in the back row with the gift of helps as we do for the wounded pastor on the platform with the gift of teaching. And we should celebrate just as sincerely when the encouragement-gifted lady has a triumph as when the evangelist-gifted guy does.

Why doesn’t it always work that way? Because humans like to rank people by importance, intelligence, popularity, and financial status. It’s completely normal, and it’s dead wrong in the church. The body can’t heal if it just pretends like the broken leg is fine and dandy. The church can’t thrive if we pick and choose who we’ll hurt and hooray with.

Think: How often do you hurt for hurting people in your church? How often do their successes make you happy?

Pray: Ask God to help you to have the right amount of concern for all the people in your church.

Do: Remember a moment when one small part of you was in pain and that’s all you could think about even though the rest of you was fine.