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Signposts: Daily Devotions

Monday, February 8

We see that God has carefully placed each part of the body right where God wanted it. But I also want you to think about how this keeps your significance from getting blown up into self-importance.
—1 Corinthians 12:24-25

from The Message Bible

Paul writes to members of the Corinthian community, where dissension had broken out in the young church because of disputes over whose gifts and talents were more important. Using the metaphor of the church as the body of Christ, Paul reasoned that all parts were of equal value. "If Foot said, ‘I’m not elegant like Hand, embellished with rings; I guess I don’t belong to this body,’ would that make it so?" Of course not.

Obviously, all parts of the body need to work together, not compete with each other, in order for the body to function. But, as Paul knew, there was an even more important reason to acknowledge the equal value of different gifts: it kept the more visible, charismatic people from feeling too important. Also, it reminded those who seemed to have less "star quality" than others that they were necessary and valuable.

A commentator writes, "Member means a functioning organ in a living body; not membership in the sense of having one’s name on a list and paying dues. The church is organism not organization; corpus not corporation." It seems to me that this is an insight we could benefit from in families, schools, and volunteer groups, as well as our own faith communities.

Which part of the body are you in your church? Your work-place? Your family? Whatever your role is, Paul’s words may be enlightening: you are invaluable, but you are not solely responsible for the success or failure of the church, the job, or even (believe it or not!) the family.

Help us, O God, to see ourselves as valuable and loved, and help us to see others the same way. Amen.

These Signposts originally appeared on explorefaith in 2007.