by Rachel Starr Thomson
written October 2001
Imagine, for a moment, the following scenario.
A hand and a mouth have gotten together over lunch to "fellowship." Somewhere in the conversation, talk turns to a common acquaintance--a foot, to be exact.
"Did you see Foot last week?" Hand asks. "He was down in the mud, trudging alongside the rest of the world."
"Hmm," Mouth hums in agreement. "I was witnessing at the time."
"I was praising the Lord. Poor Foot seems to have his priorities messed up."
"He would find life a lot more fulfilling if he'd spent less time in the mud and more time telling people about Jesus."
"Praise the Lord we've got our priorities straight. Ministry comes first." Hand thinks for a moment. "Hey, do you know what Eye was looking at yesterday..."
Meanwhile, Foot and Eye find it hard to throw themselves into their work of trudging and looking. After all, some rather more exalted members of the body seem to think there's not much purpose in mud and surroundings. Still, Foot and Eye don't have much choice about their work--but since it doesn't do any good overall, why bother working at it?
Of course, this creates some problems. Foot doesn't bother to go many places, so Mouth doesn't get much chance to witness to new people. Eye doesn't see needs, so Hand can't meet them. And so on.
The Apostle Paul writes about this very thing in I Corinthians 12.
"If the foot shall say, Because I am not the hand, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body? And if the ear shall say, Because I am not the eye, I am not of the body; is is therefore not of the body? If the whole body were an eye, where were the hearing? If the whole were hearing, where were the smelling? But now hath God set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased him.
"And if they were all one member, where were the body? But now are they many members, but yet one body. And the eye cannot say unto the hand, I have no need of thee: nor again the head to the feet, I have no need of you. Nay, much more those members of the body, which seem to be feeble, are necessary..." (I Corinthians 12:15-22)
I've often noticed (and been guilty of) a strange phenomenon among Christians. We have got it into our heads that some professions are infinitely more valuable than others. An evangelist is worth more to the Kingdom than a carpenter, for example. Or a missionary does more for God than a grandmother. The Bible has a completely different criteria for workers in the Kingdom of God then that which we seem to live by: "And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men; Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ." (Colossions 3:23-24)
Whatsoever ye do. Be it babysitting, preaching, mothering, rocket science--whatsoever ye do, do it heartily as unto the Lord. We are commanded all through the scripture to be faithful in that which God gives us to do.
How many Christians resign themselves to the fact that they are not called to the mission field--meaning Africa, or Indonesia, or some such far-off place--and completely miss the mission field that God has already placed them in? We admire those Christians who are full time servants of God, without realizing that we share their position. In whatever we do, we are the servants of the Lord Christ.
Perhaps we classify "ministry" as something someone else does as a way of avoiding responsibility. Anyone with some talent can preach a sermon, but who dares live one? We can all "do" church every Sunday, but are we willing to live as the Body of Christ all the rest of the week?
On the other side of the fence, many in ministry seem to be using the "lower" callings of others to give themselves an ego boost. Instead of humbling ourselves before the Lord and allowing Him to lift us up, are we guilty of exalting ourselves before men? Does our pride get its weekly fix by trampling other Christians down? How much are we, in our thoughts, words, and actions, crippling the Body of Christ? These are the people that Christ gave His life for. Every brother or sister in the Lord is a temple of the Holy Spirit, whether they work at a gas station or a mission station.
"For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think soberly; according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith. For as we have many members in one body, and all members have not the same office: So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another." (Romans 12:3-5)