1 Corinthians 12:12-31a
The body is a unit, though it is made up of many parts; and though all its parts are many, they form one body. So it is with Christ. For we were all baptized by one Spirit into one body- whether Jews or Greeks, slave or free- and we were all given the one Spirit to drink.
Now the body is not made up of one part but of many. If the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason cease to be part of the body. And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason cease to be part of the body. 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 arranged the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be. If they were all one part, where would the body be? As it is, there are many parts, but one body.
The eye cannot say to the hand, “I don't need you!” And the head cannot say to the hand, “I don't need you!” On the contrary, 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. And the parts that are unpresentable are treated with special modesty, while our presentable parts need no special treatment. 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.
Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it. And in the church God has appointed first of all apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then workers of miracles, also those having gifts of healing, those able to help others, those with gifts of administration, and those speaking in different kinds of tongues. Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Do all work miracles? Do all have gifts of healing? Do all speak in tongues? Do all interpret? But eagerly desire the greater gifts.
Basically, we're all different and that's a good thing. I won't speak specifically about spiritual gifts because I did that already in our last session. As you know, I teach. But what if everyone taught? Who would go out and do the full-time missionary work that needs to be done? Who would feed the hungry? Who would drill wells in countries where they don't have clean water? We need people to do those things. I feel that my job is sort of equipping those who will go out to do those things, with faith and the understanding to know when God is speaking. Of course, I feel a little funny saying that, because I also feel that as I am teaching this, I am still learning these things myself. Of course, I suppose that is good, too. If I thought I knew everything I might become arrogant. I am a long ways from knowing everything and in fact, this side of heaven I never will. That doesn't keep me from learning though. I find that the more I study the bible the more I realize how little I know. That's why I've hesitated to use my gift for two years. I thought, “What do I know? What right do I have to teach anybody anything?” The truth I don't know much and I don't have any right to teach anyone anything, but God has called me to this ministry and entrusted me with this gift and I want to honor Him by using the gift He's given me. It's not real glamorous. Especially since I'm not a man and don't feel that it would be appropriate for me as a woman to become a pastor. There are those that feel differently about this and I won't argue that with them. It is just my conviction that I shouldn't be a pastor. It's absolutely appropriate for me to write books to women (which is where my heart is) and to teach a Children's Sunday School class at church, which I also hope to start doing soon. I've volunteered and given my information to the one in charge of the Sunday School ministry at my church. I'm still waiting for a phone call. Probably after the holidays, I would imagine.
Also, we need to recognize that we shouldn't just hang out with people who have similar gifts or callings. We need those people with those other gifts to fill all the needs in our churches and our communities. We need each other, even if we don't fully understand each other.
I would also like to point out verses 25 through 26. We do need to show concern for one another. When one member is hurting we should ask them if there is anything we can do for them and pray for them, and when people experience victory, rejoice with them. I have had both of these experiences of a fellow believer listening and praying when I'm hurting and rejoicing with me when I have found victory, often in those same areas of my life where I was suffering. A lot of my healing came from being able to talk to this dear friend. She was willing to suffer with me and rejoice with me. I hope to live up to her example for others. We need each other for support as well. I know that God could heal us and not involve anyone else, but He rarely does that. It usually is done in community with other believers. In fact, I cannot think of a single time in my life that He has ministered to me any other way. I've tried to do it with just me and Him. A lot of times it feels safer that way. But that's not how He works. We turn to Him first, but almost always He will bring someone else alongside us to help us. He put us in community for a reason. We need each other!
“Dear Lord, please help me to always remember that I'm not an island. You have put other people in my life, because I need them. Continue to lead me to the right people when I need them. In Jesus' Name. Amen.”