Wednesday, July 24, 2013

1 Corinthians 12:23

"And those members of the body, which we think to be less honourable, upon these we bestow more abundant honour; and our uncomely parts have more abundant comeliness."
1 Corinthians 12:23

This chapter is talking about how we need ALL the parts of our bodies, not just a few favorites... and then it proceeds to relate that to how we need each other, as in all of us being parts of "the body of Christ" (verse 27).  And I think this verse totally relates to both.  For ourselves because so often we like parts of ourselves and not other parts.  Sometimes this is pretty valid, as in when we're trying to overcome internal things like addictions or desires for unhealthy or evil things.  But a lot of the time it isn't valid, as when we really hate external things like the way that our nose looks, or we loathe our curly hair, or the fact that it doesn't curl, or we have the WORST skin in the universe.  Whatever it is, we still need it, and it works with the rest of our body to keep us alive and functional.  And even the ugliest parts of ourselves are needed... bile duct?  Intestines?  Ick.  ... But how desperately do we need them, and how amazingly sick and lacking we feel when those parts of ourselves aren't working well.  No matter how ugly our perspective of those things is, they are beautiful when they are working right, and keeping us well and healthy.
Same goes with people.  If we are symbolically parts of God's body, then God needs us all, and we need each other.  It doesn't matter what we do for a living or our external and highly subjective level of beauty.  We're truly beautiful when we are working together with other people and accomplishing greater things than we can on our own... just like the different parts of a body.  Complex, magnificent, and highly specialized... but in need of all the rest of the pieces in order to function.  Other people's success doesn't diminish our own; it enhances it.  It allows it, it magnifies it.  And as we help each other to succeed, we multiply our capability as a community and as a people.  We can accomplish so much more as we learn to work together.
So often we think that parts of our community are useless.  An appendix or a gall bladder or a spleen... these people don't matter, and the sooner we get rid of them the better.  But community doesn't work that way.  If we consider any part of ourselves to be extraneous, obsolete, or discardable, then the whole suffers, and we start throwing away things that matters, or an internal war.  In a community, the war isn't internal, but the same thing happens.  The community stops working, cooperation and communication breaks down, and the entire group suffers.  Today, let's remember that none of us are garbage that can just be thrown out.  We're all needed, and we need to work together and resolve our differences in order to accomplish our goals, and to build Zion. :)

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