He Is Able / Day 14

BIBLE READING

1 Cor 12: 20-27

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 feet, ‘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 honourable we treat with special honour. And the parts that are unpresentable are treated with special modesty, while our presentable parts need no special treatment. But God has put the body together, giving greater honour 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 honoured, every part rejoices with it.

Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it.

REFLECTION

We live in a world where the most physically attractive, vocal, charismatic and outwardly confident are often given more attention, airtime, and are seen as more significant, than those who are quieter, introverted, socially awkward or less good looking.  The media and reality television like to parade the most aesthetically pleasing and upwardly mobile before the adoring public.  Sadly, this mindset can even creep into Christian contexts where decisions about who is given a platform may be determined by factors other than their character, calling and Christ-likeness.  However, God's Kingdom is always emphatically counter-cultural in this regard and places great worth and value on those who in other contexts may be seen as less important.  Look at what the Apostle Paul says in today's reading:

"On the contrary, those parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, and the parts that we think are less honourable we treat with special honour." (vv. 22-23)

The weak are indispensable.  I love that.  In the community of Jesus the weakest are absolutely vital and the unimportant are afforded great significance.  Paul doesn't specify what the particular weakness is that he is referring to because he wants the church to embrace and value those who have any kind of weakness, brokenness, pain, vulnerability or struggle.  

One pastor, who has a particular ministry to those with autism, importantly reminds us of the mutual need that the weaker and stronger have for one another:

"A triumphalist version of evangelical Christianity often assumes one-way discipleship - the strong help the weak. Its followers worship before the "golden calf" of their own strength, ability, intellect and giftedness. However, the church desperately needs to learn that we do not simply need to help people with physical and mental challenges, but we need them to help us become more faithful followers of Jesus." (David Prince)

In the Body of Christ, your strengths compensate for my weaknesses and vice-versa.  We need one another to be complete and fully-functioning.  By hiding our weakness, we are depriving others of the opportunity to be honest and vulnerable about their own and we are also inhibiting the release of God's power among us.  That's perhaps why Paul elsewhere says: "If I must boast, I will boast of the things that show my weakness." (2 Cor 11: 30)  He knew that the display of his weakness was the greatest invitation for God to demonstrate His strength.