“The eye cannot say to the hand, ‘I have no need of you,’ nor again the head to the feet, ‘I have no need of you.’ On the contrary, the parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, and on those parts of the body that we think less honorable we bestow the greater honor, and our unpresentable parts are treated with greater modesty, which our more presentable parts do not require. But God has so composed the body, giving greater honor to the part that lacked it, that there may be no division in the body, but that the members may have the same care for one another.”
Imagine, for example, if you just had an eyeball and nothing else. No feet, no hands, no brain, no heart. What would the eye do? He couldn’t look at anything other than what he was currently staring at. He couldn’t pick up and feel what he looks at. It couldn’t turn and look eastward or westward. It couldn’t stoop down and get a closer look. It would only look one direction always. The eye couldn’t do anything without hands and feet and a body.
Imagine if you had a brain just sitting on a table. How could it process anything without eyes to see or a tongue to taste or hands and feet to move? The brain couldn’t send signals to anything in the body about what to do next.
Each part of the body needs the other parts.
One of the spiritual gifts God has given me is teaching, and as one with the gift of teaching, I need you. I can’t teach if there is no one here to listen.
If you have the gift of helps, you need everyone. If no one is here to share their burdens, who can you help? If you have the gift of discernment and no one is around, who will you warn or guide or admonish? If you have the gift of wisdom, and no one is here, there will be no one to counsel.
Christians were not saved to be lone rangers. The idea that we don’t need each other is as old as Cain saying he wasn’t responsible for his brother (Genesis 4:9).
You see, we tend to de-value those Christians who tirelessly and quietly serve the body of Christ (e.g., sound booth, snacks coordinating, bulletin creation). But, no matter what we think, each part of the body is critical.
There is an anecdote about Charles Spurgeon who was approached by 5 college students during his time as pastor. Spurgeon invited them into the building and offered to give them a tour. It was a hot day in London and Spurgeon offered to begin the tour downstairs in the basement in the furnace room. It wasn’t their 1st choice of locations to see, because of the weather, but they wanted to respect Spurgeon; so, they conceded. Spurgeon opened the furnace room door slowly and quietly and whispered, “This is our furnace room.” Inside were 700 people bowed in prayer, praying for the service that day.
Spurgeon would say the most important reason for the influence and effect of his preaching ministry in the world was that furnace room and the anonymous saints who faithfully gathered weekly to pray. Those are the people Paul says we tend to forget or count as less important.
Paul says those people we perceive as less important should be honored even more because they don’t receive the honor they ever deserve.
God designed the church to be a needy group. God merges and molds and puts diversity in the church, so a beautiful unified purpose and ministry comes forth. And He does, anticipating that no Christian will get left behind or told he is not as important as the others.