so in Christ we who are many form one body, and each member belongs to all the others.
I have always loved this image and have appreciated how it explains our different gifts and uniqueness, and yet how it unites us all as one. I may have the gift of helping others (and may be a hand), while another may have the gift of teaching (and be the mouth), etc. It makes sense to me and it is beautiful…all of us different and yet part of one body, the Body of Jesus.
And recently, it has taken on a deeper meaning for me. As I go through my life, my body begins to ‘speak to me’ in many new ways. Morning stiffness in my back, the beginning of arthritis in my joints, headaches when stressed, sore shoulders after a day’s work, etc. I remember once stubbing my toe. It hurt so badly that I thought it might be less painful to simply cut it off. Let’s take another look at that Body analogy.
There may be those in our lives that cause us great pain. Perhaps they are members of our family or close friends. Sometimes we think that our pain would go away if we could just get them out of our lives. But….’we are all one body,’ they are part of us, in a cosmic way, and we are connected.
Sometimes we would like to ignore the poor or those who are different from us. But, ‘we are all one body.’ Ignoring them would be like forgetting about your arm or your leg. We are connected in Christ.
And so, just as parts of our own body hurt or cause us pain, parts of our ‘Christ Body’ do as well. We are connected, we are part of them, they are part of us. We must work to heal our bodies, both our earthly body and the Body of Christ.
While I believe we should have a general love all people (even if it seems impossible at times because of pain), I do think that we can guard our hearts and protect ourselves from difficult people without being completely hardened to them.
I guess I believe in small doses with some who can really bring us down, and that close friendships can be reserved for those we find compatible.
It’s a very tricky subject matter though because there’s a fine line between keeping a healthy distance and being arrogant/thinking we’re better than others. I will pray about this.
I totally agree, Jade! Boundaries are huge and so important. I guess that when we let difficult people manipulate us, hurt us, etc. it’s like one part of the body taking control over the other parts. I just meant, by this post, that we should recognize that others are a part of Christ’s Body as well, but remember, God did put distance between the parts of the body – the head is far away from the toes, etc. Sometimes we must do the same, I think. Thanks for the comments and for helping me see this more clearly.
Absolutely, Andie. Beautifully said. Thank you. We are connected in Christ. We all are part of the Bread of Life…