12 For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ. 13 For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—Jews or Greeks, slaves or free—and all were made to drink of one Spirit. 14 For the body does not consist of one member but of many. 15 If the foot should say, "Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body," that would not make it any less a part of the body. 16 And if the ear should say, "Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body," that would not make it any less a part of the body. 17 If the whole body were an eye, where would be the sense of hearing? If the whole body were an ear, where would be the sense of smell? 18 But as it is, God arranged the members in the body, each one of them, as he chose. 19 If all were a single member, where would the body be? 20 As it is, there are many parts, yet one body. 21 The eye cannot say to the hand, "I have no need of you," nor again the head to the feet, "I have no need of you." 22 On the contrary, the parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, 23 and on those parts of the body that we think less honorable we bestow the greater honor, and our unpresentable parts are treated with greater modesty, 24 which our more presentable parts do not require. But God has so composed the body, giving greater honor to the part that lacked it, 25 that there may be no division in the body, but that the members may have the same care for one another. 26 If one member suffers, all suffer together; if one member is honored, all rejoice together. 27 Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it. 28 And God has appointed in the church first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then miracles, then gifts of healing, helping, administrating, and various kinds of tongues. 29 Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Do all work miracles? 30 Do all possess gifts of healing? Do all speak with tongues? Do all interpret? 31 But earnestly desire the higher gifts. And I will show you a still more excellent way. ~ (1 Corinthians 12:12-31, ESV)
There is so many important points packed into these verses but lets look closer at verse 27, “Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it.” We are the body of Christ, these six words speaks volumes into how we should live our lives. If we truly believe that we are in Christ and Christ is in us then we believe that we are a part of a much larger body, one that convinces us that we are living for more that just our self. As a young man, before I had Christ in the conscious part of my life I tried to live for self and found myself continually defeated, never satisfied where I was always hungry for more, for something better. I could never seem to reach my full potential. The burdensome nature of living for self denigrates insightful advice that entices unsettled behavior causing us to always be seeking the next best thing, the one thing that will make us whole.
The good news is that if we stop and ask God what is the best thing for us. What is best for our family, what is best the entire community; what is the best for the world. If we stop looking internal and look at what God is doing in others, we start to understand where we fit and what our purpose is. Christ glorified His Father on the cross, giving us the opportunity to become a part of His body, the body of believers that is Christ Church to the world and we each have a part to live in order to make His Body whole. Christ values each one of us therefore we must value each other and do our part in order to make the whole work properly.
When we pray for what is best for the whole we become whole. We honor ever one in an environment that values individual contributions. “We, not me” is the vocabulary of those who honor each other. At Cross of Christ where I worship our mission statement is: “To intersect lives with the love of Jesus by creating a culture that values people and raises people up to love others.” When we value others showing them that they are valued children of God that frees them to love and value others. In our connection to Christ and to others, we become stronger. Alone we become paralyzed in our own doubt, in community with other Christ followers our spiritual life grows and become stronger.
In a community, that cultivates what is best for the body and holds us liable for our actions we become more than what we could alone, we are able to accomplish more than we could ever imagine. Me becomes we, we no longer look after our own selfish interest but the interest of the body become our main priority. When we server others in a community experience a community that servers each other.
This type of community gives God’s grace an opportunity to squash the selfish attitudes of individual and restore the community with love for Him and for His people.
“As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace:” (1 Peter 4:10).