December 2: 1 Corinthians 12-14
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?
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.”
1 Corinthians 12:12-17 & 21, ESV
It is inherent with man to establish a "pecking order" in just about every area of life. If you are driving on a 4-land road which is about to be reduced to 2 lanes, just watch the cars scramble to get in line as near the front as possible. Watch children playing, and you will soon discover who is the leader of the group, and who is the underdog. In each area we develop our own sort of ranking order. It happens at home, on the job, in recreation, etc., but Paul states that it is not supposed to happen in the church.
When one understands the principle that God made each person with specific abilities so that all members together make up one body, we begin to realize the necessity of each person. No one person in a church (including the Pastor) is more important than the other! Paul uses the physical body to illustrate this point. How does the body function without eyes, or ears, or legs, etc.? Does that mean that these body parts are more important than the others. Absolutely not; it takes all of the body parts, no matter what their function, to make a whole person.
This is a very difficult principle to put into practice, especially in the church. It is so typical to raise up doctors, lawyers, the wealthy, etc. to positions higher than the lowly common man. But, God has endowed all of them, the doctors, lawyers, wealthy, and the common man, to function in the church by using their specific abilities. One is not to be placed above or below the other in status.
What an amazing God we have! When each church functions properly, God will supply all of the needs of that church through the abilities of the members of the congregation. How does this principle help us to order our lives? It is very important that we consider our abilities, and sharpen the specific skills that God has given to us. This is especially true to those making decisions regarding careers, or just starting out on their own. How do you make your choices when the opportunities seem endless? Start by examining the things you enjoy as well as the things in which you excel.
Actually, this very principle should guide us our entire lives. At one point in your life you may lack time to help, and yet at another you may find yourself looking for things to do. Consider your strong points, and consider your likes and dislikes; understand that your characteristics and circumstances were granted to you by God.
Pray that God would help you to function as a member in one body, not looking up or down at other people.
God Bless You,