Many Members of the Body
Many Members of the Body
By Krystal Dunlap
Based on the frequency with which the medical world removes it, some may believe that the gall bladder does not serve a purpose. As someone who had the removal surgery, I assure you that it does. Without going into detail, I was ill for many weeks afterwards. To this day, I still find myself suffering physical consequences of its absence.
Prior to the surgery, I did not give my gall bladder a second thought. I could list many of my organs with their purpose, but this poor little piece may not have been mentioned. Even if I could have named it, I doubt I would have been able to describe its function. Now, after suffering its loss, I can explain in detail why it belongs within a healthy person.
As odd as it may seem, I find spiritual application in the gall bladder. Members of the church who are not obviously leading or teaching may be seen as not really necessary. Such is not true. Scripture teaches that we are one body made of many parts (1 Cor.12:12-30). As with the physical form, no two parts are the same. God composed them like this with a purpose. He intended that each part meet a different need of the group (12:17-19). Thus, all parts must rely on one another. This interdependence creates unity, bringing them together as one body (12:12).
Tragically, it seems that some believe themselves to be the spiritual gallbladder of the church. They do not feel that they serve a purpose, so if they were to disappear, it would not impact their Christian family. The writer of Corinthians addresses this problem. He notes that there are members of the body who may not feel a part because they are “not a hand” or “not an eye” (1 Cor.12:15-16). Reading this passage, I almost hear a gall bladder saying that it serves no purpose because it is not a beating heart.
However, the writer speaks against such a mentality. He emphasizes that every person is necessary. In fact, those that “seem to be weaker are indispensable” (1 Cor.12:22). Though their service may be quiet, small, or even publicly invisible, we are told that the body cannot be without it.
Those of us who are plagued with the fear that we are essentially the gall bladder of the body must fight against it. We do serve a purpose, one given specifically to us by God (1 Cor.12:18). If taken from our Christian family, our disappearance would be noticed by others. So let us continue to fill our part, whatever it may be, assured that we are a unique and essential member of the one united body of Christ.
To Live or Die for Christ?
By Paul R. Blake
“For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain” (Phil. 1:21). It is remarkable how the human spirit can often rise to the occasion of successfully facing down a major crisis. When called on to suffer, godly men and women have endured public humiliation, loss of possessions, torture, and even death. Such dedication is to be commended and imitated. Yet is it not ironic that many of these same persons who overcome the great trials fall so easily to the ordinary petty tests and small temptations that daily wear away one's resolve? Perhaps it is easier for one to burn brightly for a few moments in a great trial than it is to say “No” to the little, daily tests and trials of our faith and perseverance. Maybe it is simpler to die for Christ than to live for Him.
At the betrayal of the Lord, Peter drew a sword and was ready to do battle with the mob that came out to arrest Jesus; he appeared prepared to die for his Lord (John 18:10). But when he was called on to live for Christ by merely acknowledging that he was one of His disciples, he failed in courage and denied Jesus (Matt. 26:69-75). Not only does it require greater selflessness to live for Jesus than it does to die for Him, it requires stronger and longer term will and higher, sustained courage.