Ephesians 4:16 “From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.”
My dear friend, Linda, is a personal trainer. She is one of the healthiest, most energetic people I know, and I sometimes (lovingly) call her a “slave driver.” Whenever we take our kids to the park, we like to exercise together, and she works as both a cheerleader and task master, pushing me to do more than I would do on my own. She often reminds me that by exercising certain parts of my body, the results will benefit my entire body. With proper exercise, my whole body will become healthy, energetic, and exuberant.
I think Paul must have been an athlete, for throughout his writings, he refers to sports. In Philippians he talks about running the race and straining toward a goal. Here, he talks about building up our bodies through exercise. He knew, as my friend Linda knows, that exercising individual parts of the body ultimately benefits the entire body.
The point Paul makes is that as Christians, we are all part of one body. If I stub my toe, or I cut my finger, my entire body suffers because one small part of it is out of commission. And if we, as individuals don’t do what God has placed us on this earth to do, the entire body of Christ will suffer.
No matter how small my job or your job may seem, each job has great importance within the body of Christ. We are all interconnected – just like the ligaments in our physical bodies. Just as my foot doesn’t need to worry about doing my hand’s job, we don’t need to worry about doing anyone else’s job within the body of Christ. We just need to figure out what God wants us to do, individually, and remain faithful. We need to do our little daily assignments from God. And by doing so, we will not only become stronger as individuals. The entire body of Christ will be stronger, because we each did our parts.
I think my favorite part of this verse is the phrase builds itself up in love. If my arm suddenly started attacking my leg, or if my hand suddenly started slapping my face, you all would have me committed to an institution. It is not normal or healthy for one part of the body to attack the other parts. But all too often, within the body of Christ, we do that to each other. Instead of being humble and loving and just doing our jobs, we forget about our jobs and instead, we go and attack each other. Friends, that is not normal, it is not healthy, and it will absolutely destroy us. We must always remember, at the center of Christianity – is love. God is love. And the only way we will grow and be healthy, exuberant and attractive to the rest of the world is to love each other, and do our jobs.
Dear Father, Please make it clear what You want me to do. Help me to stay focused on my daily assignments from You, and to really love those around me.