At the Highlands Wednesday AM Men’s Bible Study this week, Len Baxter shared a powerful and personal application of how God uses all things to grow us as disciples. Len recently had surgery to repair extensive damage to his shoulder muscles. The pre-surgery pain was probably only rivaled by the post-surgery pain, as he struggled to heal.
With his left arm was laid up for a while, he realized something – his right arm without hesitation or prompting came and helped the left. He didn’t have to ask the right arm to wash the left in the shower, or to protect it from being bumped, or to simply help guide it through a shirt while getting dressed in the morning. It just did it.
He realized this is a powerful illustration of the body of Christ, the church. As he was also blessed by the assistance of many without even asking, it made a powerful connection. The church is the body of Christ and we should be reaching out to help our brothers and sisters without hesitation, or without being asked.
Paul makes this well-noted comparison in 1 Corinthians 12:12-31. We are all made differently with unique gifts. Some of us are feet, some ears, some eyes. We are no less a part of the body, as we are all one in Christ. Paul writes “…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.” [12:18-20]
Len’s right arm without hesitation and without being asked, helped the left because they are part of the same physical body. Likewise, we are all one body, the church of Jesus. When one member suffers, we all suffer. We should have the same care for one another. We should notice when one member is in need and respond.
There is also a balance to this, first, we should be others-oriented in such a way that we take notice of who needs help. Second, we should have the courage to get out of our comfort zones and just do it. See the need and respond. Oftentimes, we might say something like “Call me if you need anything,” instead of looking for a need and responding in simple and powerful ways. Thirdly, for those being served, we need to be humble enough to accept. It’s sometimes a difficult thing to accept help, but there will all be a time when we need it. We let others serve and in so doing we both are blessed.
Let us be thankful for the depth of the Word of God that gives us examples that we see in real life as we seek to live lives glorifying to God as the body of Christ!