(Psalty the singing songbook and family sing The Body Song)
Paul shares the basics of being one body in Christ. He will go into this concept several times in his letters but we see it first here. We are many members but one body.
The first part of being of one body is recognizing the importance of ALL the parts. And the first step in doing that is recognizing that you need the rest of the “body” as much as they need you. I believe this is key to thinking “with sober judgment” about yourself. The one who thinks of themselves as better than everyone else devalues others in order to value themselves higher.
This is one area that I pray I don’t fall into, or even appear to be engaging in. I will readily admit that I am not an expert in bible study and am only offering to share with you what I receive in my bible time. I also want VERY MUCH to hear your thoughts on our readings. Please forgive me if I ever come across as the “know it all.” I have a LONG way to go!
I noticed something I hadn’t noticed before when I was reading today. I had always heard that God gave us each a measure of faith; meaning the exact same measure to every person and the difference came from how we employed that gift. But Paul says that God assigns us each a measure of faith; as in different or maybe different focused for each individual. This makes sense when I think back to the story of the three servants and the talents given to them. One received ten, one received five and one received one. The master gave them what HE knew they could handle. God knows infinitely better than any earthly master what His children can handle.
God also knows where our areas of interest and abilities lie; after all, He made us. So God gives one a measure of faith suited to see circumstances in a different light than another so that person can encourage those who are struggling. The encourager has had experience watching God overcome in his own life and can offer encouragement to others.
God gives another a measure of faith to look deeper into the scriptures to find hidden meaning so he can share those truths he finds with others. He is taught by God so he can teach others. He also has an ability to explain difficult truths in an easier to understand way for others to grasp what they were unable to on their own.
He gives others the measure of faith to see His provision and to be able to share what He has given with others in need. God has proven Himself faithful to these people in their financial realm and they trust Him to continue being faithful while they share liberally what He is providing for them.
To another God has ministered to them through prophecy and given them a measure of faith to recognize His truths when they hear them. They hear His voice in their spirit and believe Him. And since they have learned to recognize His voice in their own lives, when He speaks to them regarding someone else’s life, they believe what He says and willingly pass His words along.
Each receives a gift of faith from God but each gift is a little different. Each gift is specific to the individual receiving it as well as to how that gift will benefit those lives each individual will intersect with. What good is an encourager without someone to encourage? What value is a teacher without students in need of teaching?
On the reverse side of that equation, what hope is there for a student when there is no teacher to explain the hard things in life? What hope is there for someone who is so beaten down that they can see no worth left in life if no one will encourage them? As surely as God gives a measure of faith to the individual, He also places individuals within the body to give it its measure of faith. One is not complete on his/her own. We each need “the body” as much as “the body” needs us.
Father God, thank You for all those who have encouraged me over the years as part of their offering to You. Thank You for all those who have given to me in Your name. Thank You for all those who have opened my eyes to the truths hidden in plain sight in Your word. I would have been lost without each and every person who fed my spirit through You.
Thank You also Father for all the times You let me contribute to others. Thank You for letting me share praise with the children. Thank You for sharing insights into Your word and letting me share it with others. Thank You for every time I was able to do anything in Your name to help my brothers and sisters, both physical and spiritual. Thank You for placing me into different roles as You grew me spiritually in many different bodies. I am not currently part of a local church body because of physical limitations but I am still part of Your body. Thank You that I can still contribute and also receive from my “fellow members.” I wonder what part You would label me as. Am I a toe, or a finger, or an ear, or maybe a small part of Your loving heart? Maybe You will share that with me when we finally meet face to face. Whatever You label me, I’m content to be that as long as You want me there.