If one member suffers, all suffer together; if one member is honored, all rejoice together. Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it.

1 Corinthians 12:26-27

I’ve been thinking a lot about bodies lately, specifically about one Body – the Body of Christ. Forgive me if I ramble, but it’s been a long week of migraine issues and this is the closest to coherency I can get my thoughts to be!

I suppose the topic is on my mind because of some teens I know and love. Though they have been raised in the Word of God and in the church, here at the very cusp of legal adulthood, these things have fallen out of their routines. Despite the fact this lack of Christian connection has leaked into their language, values, and worldview, at least some of them consider themselves to be Christian.

I find this disconcerting, and part of the reason all goes back to Paul’s most excellent analogy in 1 Corinthians 12. As I’ve thought over all the benefits of belonging to this great Body, I’ve realized how even the difficult parts of church are good.

Now when I say, “the difficult parts,” I really mean “the difficult people,” for it’s by having our feelings hurt that we learn to forgive; by being jealous that we learn our own selfish tendencies; by being overlooked or marginalized or mocked that we learn whether we serve God or ourselves, and so on.

If we are never hurt, how can we be healed? In the Body, interconnected as we are with the other parts, we all learn and are strengthened and heal together, just as a living body does.

But should we decide we love Christ, the Head, but don’t have any real use for His body and so we remove ourselves from it, I have to wonder… is it possible to be thus removed and be a healthy part of the body? Unlikely.

Oh I know church can hurt. I get that; truly I do.

I know people – even Christian people – can be mean and hateful and horrible. I’m as guilty as anyone – perhaps more so – but I also experience sorrow, regret, and repentance when I allow this ugly part of me to show. I’m ashamed when I misrepresent my Lord so.

However, if we remove ourselves from the Body of Christ because it isn’t “working” for us, we are really removing ourselves from the chance to grow or to heal (and don’t get me started on the “working” tangent…). 

I guess the way I am imagining the thing is as a sort of surgical excision. If my left arm were to be removed, could it still be considered a healthy part of my body? Would it continue to be nourished by my blood flow, heal when it is wounded, or be affected by my diet and exercise levels as the rest of my body does? Food for thought…

So while Lone Ranger Boulevard may be the place where you feel the most loving towards your fellow man, remember that Jesus loved the ones who flogged Him and the ones who clamored for His crucifixion. The church is His Body and it’s because He loves it that He doesn’t spare it from every little discomfort. Because not all things that feel bad are bad.

Share in suffering as a good soldier of Christ Jesus. No soldier gets entangled in civilian pursuits, since his aim is to please the one who enlisted him.

2 Timothy 2:3-4

Why not? Because it’s in sharing in suffering as a good soldier of Christ that we can learn some of the most Christ-like lessons of our lives. And that, my friends, is how we grow up and become mature.

Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love.

Ephesians 4:15-16

Lord God, I pray for my son and for all Believers who have chosen to become disconnected from the Body of Christ for whatever reason. Stir hearts to see the need for Christian community, even with all its flaws and failings. Keep us humble no matter where our place in Your Body is, and teach us to fulfill our given role wholeheartedly, not out of a sense of duty nor for what we get out of it, but out of sheer love and devotion to You, amen.

11 thoughts on “Dismembered

  1. Sometimes that’s all we can do Heather, is to pray. I don’t personally know you, but I will certainly put you and your son on my prayer list. Sometime when I talk to God I ask Him why is it so difficult when you are young to want to stay the course with Him. I envy the ones who stay in the church and never leave, because I did leave at one time, but I came back to God, and I came back stronger than before, so in whatever way your son may have become disconnected, just have faith and keep praying, and he may just come back stronger than ever before. Blessings to you and your whole family.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. That is so true. Such a great reminder. Thank you so much! I also left and went my own way for a while, and like you, I sometimes envy the ones who never strayed. But you are so right – God may have some work to do to strengthen his faith in the end. Bless you! ❀

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Absolutely, I don’t know why but I see this happen so often. Just pray for God’s protection over him, and as difficult as it must be for you, as it usually is when you’re going through the fire, ask God to give you a double portion of His strength and Love at this particular time to see you through. So many challenges we have to face along this pathway.

        Liked by 2 people

  2. Thank you, Heather, for necessary reminders. Imagine if you and your son were not experiencing this, you would also be missing some of the growth that comes. Plus, you would not be sharing what others need to read. Praying for you and your family, knowing what you are experiencing and encouraging you to continue in faith for the Lord’s plans and timing. Praising, rejoicing, and loving in the meantime will baffle your son. πŸ™‚

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you, Fran. We continue to surround him with grace and love, and while he’s still not interested in church or in the Word, he does seem to enjoy family time.

      I know the Lord will get Him in His own time. This is a chance for me to grow in trust and patience as well! πŸ˜‰

      Liked by 2 people

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