I’ll never forget a time when I was about to have “minor surgery”. I remember the nurse coming to make sure I that cute little gown on and nothing else. She was trying to help me relax and she said: “Honey, it’s ok – we all have the same parts in our body, some come in different shapes and sizes”! She made me laugh, but there was significant truth to it as well. She somehow helped me keep my dignity while giving up my modesty. That was almost 30 years ago, and I still remember it well. Our bodies are very special to us. Some of us do a better job than others taking care of our bodies. I remember an old man saying, “If I had known I would live this long, I would have taken better care of my body”. If you know me, you can tell right off that I’m not great at taking care of me. I am a work in progress on this subject.
I came across a passage of scripture where Paul is writing to a church about the church being like a body. It is a really strong analogy and I think it’s one that can apply to all sorts of organizations. Check this out….
18 But our bodies have many parts, and God has put each part just where he wants it. 19 How strange a body would be if it had only one part! 20 Yes, there are many parts, but only one body. 21 The eye can never say to the hand, “I don’t need you.” The head can’t say to the feet, “I don’t need you.”
22 In fact, some parts of the body that seem weakest and least important are actually the most necessary. 23 And the parts we regard as less honorable are those we clothe with the greatest care. So we carefully protect those parts that should not be seen, 24 while the more honorable parts do not require this special care. So God has put the body together such that extra honor and care are given to those parts that have less dignity. 25 This makes for harmony among the members, so that all the members care for each other. 26 If one part suffers, all the parts suffer with it, and if one part is honored, all the parts are glad.
27 All of you together are Christ’s body, and each of you is a part of it. (1 Corinthians 12:18-27 NLT)
I don’t want to get graphic by any means, but I have experienced broken or damaged body parts. I had shoulder surgery all the way down to a splinter in my finger. If I have a splinter in my finger, it’s a nuisance. If I have a broken bone, it’s a bit more inhibitive. At the moment, my muscles are a bit sore, but that may simply be that I’m getting old! There are lots of things that are mildly uncomfortable the older I get, and my body can’t do everything the way it once did when I was younger. (Duh!)
I was struck this morning as I compare the functioning of the church to the functioning of the physical body. There are heads, hearts, fingers, toes and dozens of other parts that make up a body. The church has all these people with different gifts and different levels of commitment to the body. Christ is the head of His body, the church, so we all should be where He puts us, NOT where we simply want to be. He knows our giftedness and our passions. If we are all surrendered to His leadership, there should not be squabbles about where we serve or jealousy about one another’s giftedness. This can sometimes be a tough one in lots of churches, because everyone wants to be in charge. This can happen in lots of other organizations as well. If a few are seeking to bark orders and be in charge, it gives the other parts of the body reasons to push back. I don’t enjoy being part of organizations whose primary mission is to serve, but instead the leadership wants to be served. This becomes a problem and is not the way it was designed. When I start using my body in ways it wasn’t designed to work, it will fail. I will keep seeking the Lord for direction in how I can best serve to each place He has called me to serve. I serve at the pleasure of the King of Kings; the Son of God – the Leader of my life!