A generation ago, I would often challenge myself to see how far I could ride my bicycle without using my hands. Perhaps you have done that, or still do.
I have to admit, there was generally no good reason for why I would do that other than to say that I could. This was most effective with an audience. To be able to call out, “Look! No hands!”, and have people stop what they were doing and watch. The longer I could go, the longer they would watch.
As I thought about this week’s topic, “We Are the Body of Christ”, I couldn’t help but wonder how often we do the same thing as Christians. We want attention, so we ride through the Christian life shouting out, “Look! No hands!”, hoping that someone notices what we are doing and focuses their eyes and thoughts on us. We say, “Look how impressive I am. I don’t need the hands, or the eyes, or the feet, or whatever other part God has placed in the body. I can do this without them and then I get all the credit.” While not saying any of this out loud, we even go so far as to say, “I don’t even need the head. I’ve got this all figured out on my own!”
We do it even though we know what eventually comes next. I never could succesfully finish a “no-handed” bike ride without using my hands. While I could ride long distances, eventually I had to choose. Do I give in and use my hands or do I crash? The conclusion for that is the same as for life — either learn to use the parts of the body God has put into place or we crash! As hard as we try, we eventually reach a point where we must allow the head to control all of the parts of the body for the good of the entire body. If we fail to do that, a crash is on its way.
How often does pride get in our way and keep us from being a body where “each member does its part”? How much do we limit ourselves as the “body of Christ” because we refuse to allow each part to do the work God created it to do? What will it take to bring complete surrender to the headship of Christ so that each part of the body receives accurate instructions and accomplishes them effectively as part of a healthy body? Why is it that even in the church we struggle getting past our desire to be seen and noticed when we know it is Jesus who ought to be evident in our assembly?
I pray that as the body of Christ, you and I would value each part as we allow and equip every member of the body to be used by God to accomplish His purpose and will.