Thanksgiving night, my wife and I are sitting the Emergency Room. I have a towel wrapped around the middle finger on my left hand. The knife blade had sliced diagonally across the main knuckle. The knife was sharp,so it didn’t really hurt, but you could feel it. The doctor meticulously sews five stitches, telling me I won’t be able to bend my finger for at least a week.Now, everything is difficult – buttoning shirts, pulling up socks, tying shoes,typing this article. Come to find out, bending one finger and puling hard,forces other fingers to bend and strain as well. Also, taking away the function of the middle finger causes stress and pain to your other fingers. Simple tasks require more time and create more frustration.
Brothers and sisters in Christ are supposed to operate like a cohesive unit, much like the fingers on your hand. When one member is struggling, the other members pickup the slack. “If one member suffers, all the members suffer with it; if one member is honored, all the members rejoice with it” (1 Corinthians 12:26). God provides protection and blessings with this plan. Christians should not fear catastrophe as much as others, because we should always be able to count on each other when we have trouble.
But,what about when a Christian is not impaired, but refuses to pull their share of the load? My first and third fingers frequently gave me shocks of pain when they were twisted or wrenched as a result of the middle finger not contributing its normal share. God says, “But now there are many members, but one body. And the eye cannot say to the hand, ‘I have no need of you’; or again the head to the feet, ‘I have no need of you’” (1 Corinthians 12:20-21). When a Christian acts like they have no responsibility to the body, other members begin to stress and strain. Just like our physical bodies need each part to function, the church needs every Christian to function as part of the unit. Can your brothers and sisters in Christ count on you?