Two women compared notes on running a small business. "I started a new practice last year," Linda said. "I insist that each of my employees take at least a week off every three months."
"Why in the world would you do that?" Marion asked.
"It's the best way,” Linda replied, “to learn which ones I can do without."
Wow! That makes me nervous about taking a vacation this summer. What if the church figures out that they could do quite well without me?
What about you? Could the church do without you? (Maybe it already does.) Or, would it be a loss if you weren’t there?
It should be. The Bible offers a simple analogy to help us understand how individual Christians should function collectively - the church is like a human body. Paul wrote, “Though it is made up of many parts; and though all its parts are many, they form one body. So it is with Christ” (1 Corinthians 12:12).
He goes on to explain that every Christian is vital to the church just like every part is important to your body. If your sight goes, you would certainly miss it. If you lose a hand or foot, that would be a great loss to you.
Part of Paul’s point with the analogy (especially in this letter) is that every part, every Christian, has value. A foot may not seem as glorious as a hand. Feet get dirty, and we worry about them smelling bad, while we put diamonds and gold on our hands. But, truth is, we need them both. Each provides a valuable function.
The church is a body which “grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work” (Ephesians 4:16). If you or I fail to do our work, then the body of Christ is, to that degree, crippled. We each have a work to do and the church should not be able to do without us.
Unless, we’re warts! That’s a body part nobody would mind losing. If a wart disappears, that’s cause for celebration, not mourning. That’s one member we could do without.
But Paul didn’t mention any warts on the body of Christ, only useful members! Before we take our vacations this summer, let’s be sure to be a functioning part of the body, not a wart. Let’s live so that we will be missed while we’re gone.