3 For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you. 4 For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, 5 so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others.
“Where do I fit in?” It’s a question every Christian should ask.
In fact, followers of Christ have been struggling for the answer since the church was born. That’s why Paul addressed the concern in our focus text.
Sadly, many believers feel like outcasts or rejects from the family of faith. Others do not try to assimilate or seek to find where they belong. But the fact is, to borrow a line from West Side Story, “There’s a place for us.” A place for ALL of us.
When I was six years old, I was introduced to mandatory participation. In fact, if I didn’t show up for school, my parents would have been jailed. There were consequences. Education in Virginia was not voluntary.
Then I was assigned a seat. That too was mandatory. Each of us, 30 or more first graders, were there for a purpose — to learn and grow to become productive citizens.
Although we shared in the bond of mandatory participation and were exposed to the same education, we grew individually. Some made A’s. Some struggled to keep up. But we were all there, from good homes and bad, rich and poor, with different needs, and unique personalities.
I didn’t have a choice. I had to go to school whether I liked it or not. So did you.
But in the family of faith, participation is not mandatory — but a divine expectation. It’s a choice, just like every aspect of our relationship to God. Following Christ is a choice. Godly and righteous living is a choice. Growing in the Lord is a choice. Christian service is a choice.
Back to my opening question. “Where do you fit in?” What is your role in the family of faith? What do you choose to do for the Lord?
Every Christian has a role — a function within the body of believers. That includes your local church and the community of believers as a whole (the universal church).
(1) Your Role is a Gift from God
Paul’s role is revealed when he says, “For by the grace given me I say to every one of you…” Grace means gift. God gifted Paul as a leader in the church, an Apostle, a teacher, and one with authority to declare God’s word.
Every Christian has a gift or gifts from God for the benefit of the body of Christ, which is the church.
(2) Your Role Requires a Right Attitude
These gifts are to be handled in humility. “Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought…”
Spiritual gifts require careful consideration and application. “…think of yourself with sober judgment…” If plumbing were a spiritual aptitude, I would have learned long ago that’s not my gift.
(3) Your Role Requires Faith
Your role, both in finding it and fulfilling it comes down to faith. “…in accordance with the measure of faith God has given you…”
(4) Your Role is Specific
God doesn’t expect you and me to do everything. How I wish I had learned that lesson years ago. “Just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function…” Unfortunately, when members of the body fail to perform their function, then others are forced to take up the slack. That’s like calling upon the umpire to play centerfield. He’ll give it his best shot, but it will not be nearly as effective as the one who was gifted and trained to play the position.
(5) Your Role depends Upon Christ
You weren’t given grace to do your own thing apart from the Lord. “…so in Christ we who are many form one body…” He is the one who directs the use of your gifts and determines the outcome.
(6) Your Role Only Works in the Family of Faith
We belong to Christ and serve Him and His purposes. But we also belong to the fellowship of believers. “…each member belongs to all the others.”
Where do you fit into the family of faith? If you know, serve Him diligently and in faith. But if you don’t know your role, then pray for the Lord to reveal your gift(s) and function.
For more on this topic, check out this article: Make Time to Serve Jesus
Reprinted from The Forever Notebook, Book 4 (October – December) Get your copy here: Paperback and eBook/Kindle formats.