1 Corinthians 12:12-14 – There is one body, but it has many parts. But all its many parts make up one body. It is the same with Christ. 13 We were all baptized by one Holy Spirit. And so we are formed into one body. It didn’t matter whether we were Jews or Gentiles, slaves or free people. We were all given the same Spirit to drink. 14 So the body is not made up of just one part. It has many parts.
1 Corinthians 12:27 – You are the body of Christ. Each one of you is a part of it.
A couple of years ago, my youngest son was diagnosed with a condition in which his own body attacked itself and caused damage resulting in an inability to absorb nutrients. He had always been athletic but was suffering from weight loss and extreme fatigue. He was pale and unable to stay awake. As such, he became unable to practice or play soccer. Once we found out the issue, we were able to work with it by changing his diet. It is a terrible thing when your own body is your worst enemy.
Strangely we have the same issue happening in our churches across America. The church has become its own enemy and while that is bad enough, it is actively seeking to make as many enemies as possible. In the referenced verses, Paul is clear that while we may be different parts of the body, we are each important and necessary to the successful working of the body. So many articles, blogs and social media posts make it clear that instead of reaching the world with the good news of the gospel, we are instead focused on attacking ourselves. Returning to the example of the body, it seems to me to be like a person who is involved with cutting themselves out of self-hatred or an inability to see their identity and worth. Every time the church cuts one of its own members, it shows the world just how damaged it is.
Going back to my discussion of athletics, in soccer you will often find players hacking at an opponent’s ankles in an attempt to disable them or slow them down. My son used to get so upset about this. My response has always been that it takes no talent to hack at someone’s ankles, anyone can do so. As it applies to the current subject, it takes no prophetic ability or love to hack at societal ankles, anyone can do so. Those who are called children of God have an obligation to call out the gold in others and specifically their own body. Live up to the identity to which you have been called.