“For the body does not consist of one member but of many. If the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body. And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body. If the whole body were an eye, where would be the sense of hearing? If the whole body were an ear, where would be the sense of smell? But as it is, God arranged the members in the body, each one of them, as he chose. If all were a single member, where would the body be? As it is, there are many parts, yet one body.” 1 Corinthians 12:14-19
This passage has become a favorite for cabin devotions in the first week of camp, and it’s easy to see why. Here Paul is comparing the body of Christ (another way to say Christians everywhere!) to an actual body. Your body has lots of different parts with different functions, and the same goes for the church… and your cabin at camp!
There’s nothing quite like the anticipation of walking into your cabin for the first time on Opening Day. Who is going to be your best friend? Your bunkmate? Your dance party pal? The girls you’ll be living with are all different, from all over the country. But you know it’s going to be great, because you have something big in common - camp!
That’s just a small picture of what the Bible tells us about the community of Christians world-wide. There are millions (probably more!) of Christians all over the world. We speak different languages. We look different. Our day to day lives may have little in common. But the Bible tells us this is a good thing. How crazy would it be if the whole body was an ear? Or a nose? Our body is even more incredible because of how its different parts work together, and the body of Christ is better because we are all different, and gifted in unique ways.
But what does that look like in our day to day lives? When it’s easy to compare yourself to your friends or your siblings? We tend to fall into two traps when we compare ourselves to others. They’re a foot and you’re an eye - so what do you do? Sometimes we wish others were more like us. Why can’t they just like the same things as me? Or see the world the way I do? But other times, we look at what our friends have or look like or can do, and we get jealous. She’s so much more talented than me. No wonder she is so popular. Why can’t I be more like her?
But both of these traps minimize the truth we see in this passage. Every person (you included!) has been created purposefully, with unique gifts that will make God’s kingdom a better place. The fact that we’re all different is a good thing - how boring would it be if we were all exactly the same? Just because someone is different than you, with different skills and their own way of seeing the world, doesn’t mean that they are more valuable than you, or that they are wrong.
That’s what’s so wonderful about being a Christian! We know for sure that God is working in each one of us. That He loves us, and that He is using us in our own unique way. Together we become even better and more useful to Him than we ever would be alone.