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VIM - Very Important Member!
You are a Member!
In reading 1 Corinthians 12, I began to ponder why so many groups, regardless of size, seem to either grow stronger or weaker. Some work together like fingers in a glove; some seem like they’re trying to shove a foot in a glove. People struggle to find acceptance or a sense of belonging. People can feel lost; some are power-hungry; some are simply passive and don’t participate. Indeed, everyone is part of one group or another, whether it be marriage, family, church, workplace or sports; just to name a few.
In my hub GOD: Let Us Make Man In Our Image? we looked at the definition of “God”, which is the Hebrew word elohim (Greek word theos). We saw that God, though He is the Creator and LORD of heaven and earth, encompasses His heavenly host and even us, as believers, into His body. In other words, we are members, knit together as a unit.
Paul’s message to the church at Corinth taught them about God’s system of governance. We all know that God is not the Author of confusion. Chaos is not His way. As Christ is the head of His body, the husband is the head of his wife and they parent their children together. Likewise, the church has pastors, elders, deacons, teachers, administrators and other various ministries. Even the world has a system of governance made up of primary leaders, advisors, federal, state, county and city officials, all the way down to law-abiding citizens. Each and every member of humanity affects every other member, bringing order or chaos.
God is the God of divine design. Look at creation itself! If the earth were too close to the sun it would burn up. The trees alone give off oxygen and bear fruit so we can breathe and eat. The oceans and sky provide the perfect moisture balance for all things to thrive. From the creation of the heavens and earth to the smallest little ant, order is designed to bring functionality. Truly, when order turns to chaos, function becomes dysfunction.
Consider your own body. If one part of your body suffers, your whole body suffers. If you break your arm, you certainly wouldn’t let it just hang there in pain. You would immediately seek medical attention and follow the doctor’s directions! If you were to lose your sight, you’d be amazed that the rest of your senses would naturally become stronger. We often take our body parts for granted until there’s an injury or loss!
Just as our own bodies have various “members”, so do groups of people working together toward a common goal. Truly, we are to love our neighbor as ourselves, amen? It is imperative that we recognize each is an “arm” or an “eye” and do our best to contribute to the building up and strengthening of the body. Every part of the body is valuable! You are valuable!
What determines our value? Is the grower of the vine any less important than the pickers, packagers, shippers, receivers, distributors, grocery store employees, chefs or consumers? What if one link to the chain was missing? Is a doctor more valuable than the man who paves the highway? It all depends on what we consider to be valuable. See, God’s kingdom is not of this world, nor is it based on the dollar. Everyone is vitally important to the functioning of the kingdom.
Consider how all of us are called to different careers. Some desire to be morticians or garbage collectors, preachers, teachers, home-makers, administrators and construction workers. Thank God He designed humanity this way else we could not function as a whole!
1 Corinthians 12:20-27
While it’s best to read all of 1 Corinthians 12, we’re going to highlight verses 20-27:
“But now there are many members, but one body. And the eye cannot say to the hand, ‘I have no need of you’; or again the head to the feet, ‘I have no need of you.’ On the contrary, it is much truer that the members of the body which seem to be weaker are necessary; and those members of the body which we deem less honorable, on these we bestow more abundant honor, and our less presentable members become much more presentable, whereas our more presentable members have no need of it.
“But God has so composed the body, giving more abundant honor to that member which lacked, so that there may be no division in the body, but that the members may have the same care for one another. And if one member suffers, all the members suffer with it; if one member is honored, all the members rejoice with it. Now you are Christ's body, and individually members of it.”
Consider all the “hats” one person can wear: child of God, spouse, parent, church member, career professional, sports coach, etc. That’s enough to exhaust anybody. Instead of getting frustrated when someone drops the ball, we should step up and do what we can to help. Let’s go through each of these “hats” and ponder how we can apply God’s principles:
As believers, it is important to spend time with God in prayer. Likewise, we must listen and obey His promptings throughout the day. He is our daily bread. Don’t fast when it comes to Jesus! Thank God for being able to participate as a member of His body each and every day.
In our homes, the husband is to be the head of the household. A wise husband would find out what his wife’s natural abilities are and encourage her to function in those gifts. She might be a finance whiz. He might enjoy cooking. She may love yard-work while he tinkers with home improvement projects. Likewise, children have gifts and interests that will contribute to the family as a whole. We need to teach our children and have patience with them. The more we invest in them, the stronger their future will be. Just like family chores, sports is a great way to teach kids the principles of team “membership” that will extend far beyond the arena.
Perhaps you’re thinking about joining a church fellowship. It’s important that the members there receive you; that you’re able to feel like you belong. God gave you gifts to use as a functioning part of that body. So often the “system” is already in place and you might feel there’s no opportunity to serve. Or, it could be you’re asked to function as a “foot” when you are really a “hand”. Churches need to find out what each member’s gifts are and place them accordingly. Doing so will cause the body of Christ to GROW; amen!
An employer wouldn’t place a person in a position without checking his/her skills first, right? Resumes let the employer know what qualifications the applicant possesses that would be beneficial. A new employee entering the workplace shouldn’t be “thrown to the wolves” and told to “sink or swim”; no! A wise Company would suffer a temporary set-back in productivity in order to train the new member to be a valuable asset to the team!
We're All VIM's!
Let us remember that all members of the body are very important! Those who are “weaker” or “less honorable” need our assistance, just like we do. Be an active part of the team. No one is to be a “couch potato”! There is no “I” in “team”, right? If we begin to think and operate as a body, appreciating every member’s contribution, we are sure to make order out of chaos and reap harmony and success! Be blessed!