Only let each person lead the life that the Lord has assigned to him, and to which God has called him…Each one should remain in the condition in which he was called…For he who was called in the Lord as a slave is a freedman of the Lord. Likewise, he who was free when called is a slave of Christ. You were bought with a price; do not become slaves of men… So, brothers, in whatever condition each was called, there let him remain with God.
1 Corinthians 7: 17, 20, 22, 24 (ESV)
How can we effectively function within the Body of Christ without operating in our rightful stations, operating smoothly and orderly? Each of us is a critically important component of a wholly functioning body and should, therefore, be neither ashamed nor overtly proud of who we were created to be. Joyous, yes! Energized, yes! Fulfilled, yes! Thankful, yes! But, ashamed or proud, No! From God’s perspective, we are all made to function perfectly within the body of Christ, for that’s where our collective perfection is made manifest. And that’s where praise is truly applicable, projecting any potential personal pride onto Christ Jesus, where it belongs. There is no one made either better or worse than anyone else, just exquisitely different, each with wonderfully unique qualities, skills, and abilities. This means being gracious and respectful of one another and honoring each other for our uniqueness.
If we were wise, we would see the lasting value of every individual’s personal contributions to the Body of Christ. But let there be no mistake, there is no wiggle room for pride or envy in God’s Kingdom. We were purchased with the precious blood of Jesus, and for his sacrifice, on our behalf; we are forever grateful and eternally indebted. We should rest; therefore, being content in the individuality God blessed us with, for it is solely ours to utilize and enjoy. For without our unique qualities there would be little or no motivation for loving one another. And we are not supposed to accomplish everything, just our appropriate portion. This is what the Kingdom of God is all about, each citizen doing their part in union with all the others. This harmonious functioning of the body is what truly makes it dynamic and powerful, a rhapsody of unobtrusive cooperation bringing the virtues of God’s kingdom to a lost world.
And always remember, we are only made perfect as we humbly acknowledge to God our latent fears, imperfections, weaknesses, and our inability to ever achieve perfection on our own efforts. And, as we are compelled to consistently seek God above all else, we are made perfect in Him.
Dear Lord, give each of us an understanding, a vision, a clear and distinct direction in which to head to effectively apply our God-given gifts so that they harmoniously produce fruit in the Body of Christ. Amen.
A F Fischer