“For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ. For in the one Spirit we were all baptized into one body – Jews or Greeks, slaves or free – and we were all made to drink of one Spirit. Indeed, the body does not consist of one member but of many. If the foot would say, ‘Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,’ that would not make it any less a part of the body. And if the ear would say, ‘Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,’ that would not make it any less a part of the body. If the whole body were an eye, where would the hearing be? If the whole body were hearing, where would the sense of smell be? But as it is, God arranged the members in the body, each one of them, as he chose. If all were a single member, where would the body be? As it is, there are many members, yet one body.” (1 Corinthians 12:12-20)
We know in our souls that we are not totally independent. When we have experienced “the other” in our midst, we find that all people share common hopes, fears, and dreams. All parents want the best for their children; everyone wants to make an impact on the world and leave a legacy when they’re gone. We know that we have much in common with one another.
Yet that fact does not take away from each individual person’s uniqueness.
Every person is a unique individual, whose soul expresses itself in ways never before seen in history. Every person is special and has their own contribution to make towards our collective future. When we come to be primarily identified by our socio-economic status, education level, sexual orientation, nationality, voting record, or anything else that does not emphasize our uniqueness, we are left spiritually impoverished. Instead, a healthy individuality is the only corrective.
The church is made up of individuals coming together in community such that their unique gifts complement and provide for the needs of one another. No one person has it all, but when we are at our best, we find that where one person is lacking, another has an excess; where one person is weak, another is strong.
It would seem that this balance of skills, gifts, needs, and abilities is beyond human power to constitute. As the scriptures say, “This is the work of the Spirit.” By following the Spirit of God together, we can humbly admit where we need help from others, and also boldly offer ourselves for others’ benefit.
You are unique. You have a purpose to fulfill. You also have needs. You can best experience wholeness by applying your unique self to the Larger Self, the Whole Self. This we call the Body of Christ. And you were made for this.
Cody Nygard, Director of Discipleship and Connection