November 20 I Wednesday
“And so the body is not made up of one part but of many.” —1 Corinthians 12:14
Some of us may have a Christian ghetto mindset, where the definition of “ghetto” is an isolated or segregated group or area. We can get into a Christian ghetto mindset when we think our church or our denomination or our spiritual gift is the best or the only way that God moves.
Paul turns away from a Christian ghetto mindset and emphasizes the beautiful diversity within the body where every race, tribe, tongue, language and people are brought together under one head––Christ.
This would have been radical in Paul’s day––a slave and a slave owner worshiping together, a Jew and a Gentile worshiping the same Lord.
Paul tells us, “Now if the foot should say, ‘Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body…’” (1 Corinthians 12:15). Imagine Mr. Foot thinking to himself, “I hate that hand. It gets all the attention! Not only does the hand get beautiful jewelry placed on it, it also gets to shake and hold other hands. What about me? I get stuck in a sock, rammed in a shoe, and by the end of the day, I smell like dog’s breath. That’s it! I’m out of here!”
Likewise, Paul writes, “And if the ear should say, ‘Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body…’” (1 Corinthians 12:16). Imagine Mrs. Ear saying to the other ear, “I can’t stand those eyes. They get to stare deeply into someone else’s eyes. But we’re just hanging off this head looking awkward. Did you know that our ears and nose will never stop growing? It keeps getting bigger and bigger––soon, we’ll look like Dumbo!”
Paul uses these arguments to show how absurd the Corinthian church is. We cannot disown a member of our bodies just because we do not like it or it functions differently. If we continue in this Christian ghetto mindset there will be an impact on our ability to function. We cannot be a body divided against ourselves, as Paul says, “…God has placed the parts in the body, every one of them, just as He wanted them to be” (1 Corinthians 12:18). Paul argues if God is the one who places each part of the body just as He determines to carry a particular function, who are we to say the part is not valid? We can get out of a Christian ghetto mindset when we realize, recognize and acknowledge that we need each member in the body of Christ to function just as He wanted them to be.
Prayer: Almighty God, every part of Your body is valuable and important––just as You wanted them to be. Open my heart to embrace others different from me. Thank You, Lord.