14 For the body is not one member, but many.
-Everything is not about me. I am a part of a bigger picture. God’s plan for me connects me to God’s plan for others.
15 If the foot shall say, Because I am not the hand, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body?
16 And if the ear shall say, Because I am not the eye, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body?
-Just because a body part doesn’t want to be its particular part or a person would prefer a grander calling does not change the facts. A foot is a foot even if it wants to be a hand, and a person cannot change his/her God-given, spiritual identity. We accept this in the natural. We don’t choose our skin color, our eye color, etc. Those are God-chosen; so is our place in the Body of Christ. Denying your calling does not remove the responsibility of your calling. (Romans 11:29 “For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance.”) Could it be that failing to fulfill the role as a part of the Body becomes a sin of omission?
-People who attempt to be someone other than who they were meant to be are not becoming who they hope to become; they’re merely a crippled version of themselves.
-A body part that doesn’t want to be itself does not see its own worth.
-A body part that wants to be a different body part is ruled by a carnal connection to the lust of the eyes or the pride of life. It thinks it deserves something else or wants what others have/do.
-Discontentment with part-identity comes from 1.) Not being grateful for who you are and what you already have. 2.) Envy of others because you think they have the life/qualities/things you think you should have. 3.) Listening to lies that are in agreement with the adversary and in disagreement with God’s Word. Lies are like the following thoughts: “You are not good enough.” “You don’t matter.” “Others are more capable, so don’t bother.” “If I could be like so and so, I’d have it made.” “They couldn’t do what they ask me to do if they had the troubles I have” “I only get asked to do what the important people would never do.” “If only I had x,y,or z, I’d be content.” “She/he has it made.” “They are so selfish!” “They think they are sooo righteous!” “Why couldn’t they do this MY way?” "Why do I have to do everything. Is there anyone who is NOT lazy?" “I am a failure.” “Nobody cares about me.” And a host of other negative self-talk messages about yourself or others.
-Believing the lies that you are not important or that you deserve a different place in the Body brings disunity and affliction to the Body. If you are not doing your part, someone else is trying to make up the difference. That person is taking on more stress than he/she was meant to carry, like a foot hop, hop, hopping because the other foot is lame. You weary the body and bring injury to it by exhausting the other members.
-Hebrews 12:12-14 says, “Wherefore lift up the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees; And make straight paths for your feet, lest that which is lame be turned out of the way; but let it rather be healed.” We have been given the Straight and Narrow Way, but we need healing for the lame, useless feet, and strength for the Body parts that are weary or are not doing their part.
-A failing body part may cause others to fail as well. Your not being a foot may prompt a hand to attempt to do what is rightfully your job.
-About that hearing. Scripture says faith comes by hearing. Faith is needed for miracles, wonders, revival, and any other spiritual success. Could it be that we fail to have all that God wants us to have in our churches because the ear isn’t hearing? It’s too busy trying to be the eye, and the nose is attempting to hear. A hearing ear in the Body increases the flow of faith to the Church. This, in turn, activates the supernatural.
-And smelling? Why is it important? It brings pleasure to the body, like stopping to smell a Gardenia. It signals something’s wrong: “Supper is burned.” It indicates something is not right: “Yuck! That milk is sour!” Smelling motivates the body. “Stop and enjoy the flowers.” “Hurry! Get the pot off the stove!” “Don’t drink that, or you will feel sick!” That's the good side of being "nose-y."
-To deny ourselves our rightful place in the body is to dishonor God. He was pleased, yes exceedingly happy, with making us exactly so and putting us in the Body, His Body.
-To dishonor a body part, including our own place, is to dishonor the Body that we are in, the Body of Jesus.
19 And if they were all one member, where were the body?
-To disregard another part of the body also dishonors God. He made others different than you for a reason—so the body wouldn’t be all mouths and belly buttons.
-Perhaps others do not need as much “fixing” as you think. You are simply noticing they are different than you, and different is not a carnal thing or a wrong thing or a "Miss Goody Two-Shoes" thing; it is a God thing.
-The Body cannot exist if the parts do not exist. A body consists of numerous, functioning parts.
-If everyone is either a rump or a brain, then there may be a lot of sitting and contemplating, but how is Jesus going into the world (feet) and speaking (lips, voice box…)? How is He healing without hands or loving without a heart or holding without a lap and arms?
20 But now are they many members, yet but one body.
21 And the eye cannot say unto the hand, I have no need of thee: nor again the head to the feet, I have no need of you.
-The truth is we need to be what we were designed to be and to release others to be themselves.
-Only by each fulfilling his/her role can we fully be what God intended.
-We need one another. The foot cannot walk alone without other parts of the body any more efficiently than it can walk while attempting to be a hand.
-Healthy body parts have multiple functions in order to supply every need. Even the “sitter” (gluteus maximus) assists the feet in walking. It doesn't only cushion the moments we sit.
-Paul’s discussion of the Body follows his directives about Spiritual gifts. Could it be that gifts of the Spirit cannot operate fully because there is a problem with body part identity?
-Identity issues create other issues. It’s important to know who we are in Christ.
23 And those members of the body, which we think to be less honourable, upon these we bestow more abundant honour; and our uncomely parts have more abundant comeliness.
24 For our comely parts have no need: but God hath tempered the body together, having given more abundant honour to that part which lacked.
-Some people view others or themselves as superficial. Could it be that the body part in question is the skin? Only you know if you are healthy skin, the part of the bride that most easily shows spots and wrinkles and blemishes. But when measuring the spiritual depth of another, remember they are a part of the same Body you belong to. Skin requires pampering: a bath, lotion, sunscreen, acne/wrinkle treatment, shaving, make-up, deodorant, cologne, etc. This “pampered” part gets this special treatment because it is the first line of defense against environmental factors—the toxins of gossip, the allergens of spiritual shifting that moves into an area, the mosquitoes of attackers, the brier patches of trouble. How vulnerable the brain, the heart, and the lungs would be if the beautiful “pampered” skin didn’t cover them. But skin is also the appearance. It is what others see. Skin is part of the reflection of what’s beneath whether that is health or illness. Skin shows the damage of what it has endured. Most importantly, it identifies the parts it covers. The skin unifies the body.
-If we see spots, wrinkles, and blemishes in the skin or deficiencies in other parts of the Body, it's likely we aren't doing our own job very well. Are we, the hand, applying the sunscreen of prayer to cover another? Are we as feet, walking into the shade peaceful conversation instead of leaving another exposed and vulnerable to vicious gossip?
-Body parts need to be givers and receivers. The skin, for example, may need sunscreen, but it has worked hard to represent. The nose may get to inhale the flowers, but it’s endured the snot. The feet may get a pedicure, but they’ve “taken a stand” and “walked the walk.”
-The word member makes me think of "remember." When we remember one another, we honor the members of the Body.
25 That there should be no schism in the body; but that the members should have the same care one for another.
-Working in our place makes the feeble parts stronger, the comely parts more than cosmetic, the hidden parts honored.
-Contentment arises when you are happy IN your own skin (which happens to be someone else!) rather than wanting to BE your own skin.
-Value is attributed to yourself when you see others as valuable. When you value others’ roles in YOUR life and see how they connect to you, you see that it works the other way as well. You realize your connection to others matters, too. You need them, and they need you. That satisfies the need to feel needed.
26 And whether one member suffer, all the members suffer with it; or one member be honoured, all the members rejoice with it.
-The Body of Christ is its healthiest when each member cares for the other members.
-The Body shouldn’t have to look outside its members for aid.
-The Body should function with sensitivity to one another.
-Fulfilling your purpose and valuing others brings unity and appropriate care to the Body.
-This also brings right alignment with God and a joyful appreciation to the One who made the Body-and all its parts as He deemed beautiful.
27 Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular.
-The verses following this passage talk about the 5-fold ministry. When the Body parts work as God designed them to--in particular and in unity--ministry becomes effective, active, and multiplied; gifts of the Spirit are in full operation; and the “more excellent way,” the God-identity quality of love, becomes the motivation and demonstration of our lives.
Tip/Tidbit: Turn the magnifying glass upon yourself. Are you happy with who you are in Christ? Ask God to let you see yourself as He sees you; you're likely to view others in the same light.