Have you ever just wondered if you belonged somewhere? I mean, have you ever felt out of place? It’s probably one of the worst feelings in the world…not knowing if you should be where you are. Sometimes we can even feel this way about ourselves in church….do I belong?
We may struggle with belonging in the church because we see what everyone else is doing and examine ourselves and think what we do pales in comparison. We may even think to ourselves, “No one would miss me if I wasn’t here.” Is that true? Is anyone…….useless?
It never ceases to amaze me how little we can think of ourselves. We have a in-born habit of inflating the importance of anyone else and undermining our own. I’m not talented enough, godly enough, praying enough, victorious enough………well, enough with all that. Can we be clear on one thing…..if you are saved and have accepted Jesus as your LORD and Savior, then you are part of the church. That’s that!
I love diversity, and God does too. After all, He’s the One who has made people so unique and different. That’s a good thing. 1 Corinthians 12:12-20 speaks of this diversity that isn’t merely ethnic, but specific to how God has created each one of us when it says, “Now the body is not made up of one part but of many. If the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason cease to be part of the body. And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason cease to part of the body…..”
Let’s be clear on what Paul means here: Just because you’re not what someone else is doesn’t make you any lesser of a part. Are you saved? Do you love Jesus? Have you made a decision to follow Him and obey? I could keep asking questions, but if you are giving a “YES” on each of these then you must be part of the body of Christ. Realize, when you are part of a body, you inherently serve a specific function. You can think others who serve in ‘more important’ capacities are more valuable than you, but you would be completely wrong for thinking such a thing. A body, being made up of many different parts, relies on each part, no matter how seemingly insignificant, to function properly.
Paul continues in verse 17, “If the whole body were an eye, where would the sense of hearing be? If the whole body were an ear, where would the sense of smell be? But in fact God has arranged the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be. If they were all one part, where would the body be?”
Maybe you’ve wanted to be someone else, so you could be more important, more useful, or possess a greater function. Here’s the bad news for such unrealistic expectations…….you can’t! Here’s the good news……God doesn’t expect you to.
We can’t all be the same, and I, for one, don’t want to be like someone else. I like being me and doing what God made me to do because it is important and everyone in the body of Christ can make that same statement. For those who have a hard time accepting themselves, it is impossible for you to be what God hasn’t created you to be! As the church, the body of Christ, He has arranged us in our parts just as He wanted. If He wanted you to have a great singing voice, He would’ve given you one. If He wanted you to be a great communicator, He would have suppressed your fear of being on stage and enabled you to do it. Whether you are a good encourager, speaker, teacher, pastor, helper, organizer, administrator, evangelist (we could go on and on)…..this is who God has made you to be in the body of Christ.
So, serve your function whether you’re a hand, a foot, an ear or an eye and so on. Be who God created you to be in the church. Do what He has made you able to do remembering that your function is exactly as God intended; so do it well!