1Co 12:19-21 “And if they were all one member, where were the body? But now are they many members, yet but one body. And the eye cannot say unto the hand, I have no need of thee: nor again the head to the feet, I have no need of you.”
In verse eighteen, Paul has affirmed that God places each member in the body according to His own will and purpose. In verse nineteen, he demonstrates God’s wisdom in doing so. There must be a diversity of gifts (functions) for an entity to properly be called a body.
A male quartet is made up of four men with varying voice ranges. One is gifted to sing in a high range and provide the melody. Another is gifted to sing higher still and provide the tenor part. One is gifted to sing in a moderate range and provide the baritone. The final member usually has a very deep voice and sings in a very low range providing the bass.
Each part is a gift. The four parts together can do wonderful things with a song. They fill the air with the sound of harmony. They can sing “echoes” to different phrases within the song. If all four members had exactly the same gift, this would not be possible.
The harmonious function of the body of Christ requires each one that He adds to the body to perform according to the talent He has given. Each part is a gift, and together can do things that would not be possible if the gift was alone or if all had the same gift. It takes many members functioning according to their talents to make up a harmonious body of believers.
We may not all have a talent for singing. Everyone is not called to preach the gospel. Not all have the ability to reach out to others in a compassionate manner. Some of us may lack organizational skills but are perfectly willing to work when someone who does have that skill set says “I need someone to do this.” We should not waste time bemoaning the gifts others have that we do not. Instead, we should be rejoicing that He gave us a gift for the benefit of His body and looking for every opportunity to use it.
Regardless of our gift, we cannot say to any other gift of the body that they are not needed. While we may not say the words, we need to be sure that our attitude toward others does not say the words for us. The head may be a highly exalted member of the body, and we are certainly dead without it. However, no matter how much our head might will it, the body isn’t going anywhere on its own without the feet.
The body of Christ is not comprised of just preachers, or just singers, or just hearers. The body of Christ is not made up of only teachers or only learners. The body of Christ is made up of the members that He has chosen with the talents that He has given. Our Head is honored when each part of the body works for the good of every other part of the body.
May we be blessed to nourish our own gifts while encouraging the other gifts of the body that all may abound to His praise!