Monday, July 24

Bodily Functions

Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it. --1st Corinthians 12:27 (NIV)

Every workplace, every social circle, and every family has at least one of them. You may not have heard the term "stress puppy", but the definition will make you nod your head in understanding. A stress puppy, as defined by WordCentral. com, is a person who lives and thrives on stress yet constantly complains about it. The word first appeared about a decade ago and has continued to gain widespread usage, particularly in fast-placed corporate arenas.

But the church has stress puppies too. Generally speaking, they are the types who want to be recognized as some sort of "Super Christian". They volunteer for just about every committee, spreading themselves thinly across various activities, all the while complaining that the other people in the church don't do enough to help out.

The body of Christ, the church, is just that. A body. God does not desire that a body of believers be made up of over-achieving stress puppies. Each of us has been gifted in a different way. Some gifts and abilities to serve within the church are more visible than others, and that's okay. A living, thriving, God-honoring church is one that works together under Christ's headship in order to make God's Word known and understood to anyone in attendance.

My husband and I belong to a church that is in the midst of a huge remodeling effort. As a whole, our church (and by that I mean the members and believers of the congregation) has demonstrated beautifully what it means for the church to function as a body. Some people are the hands and feet, making sure that the chairs are set up each week. Others are internal organs, making sure that the wiring for the make-shift sound system and cooling equipment are hooked up properly. Still others are the heart and mind, ensuring that God's word is consistently being communicated to the people, even while such dramatic changes are taking place on the building's face.

If the church were made up of stress puppies, nothing would ever get done. Moreover, the church building would become little more than a weekly gathering place for people who already believe their time is at a premium. In order for a church body to function, we believers all need to take our places humbly as we fill the roles for which God has equipped us. In doing so, we take the focus off ourselves, and direct it toward the head of the church, which is Christ Jesus.

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