September 28, 2014
Grateful for the Work God Gives Us
If the whole body were an eye, where would be the hearing? If the whole were hearing, where would be the smelling? But now God has set the members, each one of them, in the body just as He pleased
(1 Corinthians 12:17,18).
The kingdom of Christ is a realm where definite work is done. To be a Christian is more than an honorary status conferred upon us; it is a manner of living, a way of life. If we have the idea that “being” a Christian involves no more than the passive enjoyment of being saved, we have a thing or two to learn about the New Testament. There, Christians worked and served, actively and energetically. The body of Christ does things!
But just as the body of Christ has work to do, it’s also true that the individual members of the body each have a unique part to play in that work. If we’re Christians, we don’t simply have a generic contribution to make; we have a particular work to engage in that is uniquely our own. Each of us is a one-of-a-kind package of strengths and abilities, and we’re going to have to answer for whether those gifts were used in ways that were well suited to us.
Most of us are aware that the church is compared in the New Testament to the human body, a unified organism made up of many different parts, all of which contribute uniquely to the body’s activity. Almost humorously, Paul asks, “If the whole body were an eye, where would be the hearing? If the whole were hearing, where would be the smelling?” The body simply could not function without having different parts that do different things.
We know this, and yet what do we do? We identify certain types of Christian service as more important, and we spend our lives fretting over who has which ability. In a word, this is sinful.
In the Lord, we need to take three steps: (1) We need to prayerfully discover what it is the Lord wants us personally to be doing with the abilities we have (or can acquire). (2) We need to get comfortable in our own skin and accept the role that is ours to play, regardless of where it ranks on any worldly scale of values. (3) We need to rejoice in our role and be grateful for the work God gives us. After all, God has set us in the body “just as He pleased.”
The Lord knows us as we really are. He gives each of us work to do. He understands what is most appropriate for us, what will be helpful to him, and what will be good for others.
Teresa of Avila