Pride in the Body

“At thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore” (Ps. 16: 11)

The Basket Case Chronicles #147

And if they were all one member, where were the body? But now are they many members, yet but one body. 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.” (1 Cor. 12:19–21).

Paul has been arguing for the interdependence of the various parts of the body. In this previous illustration, he talks about a member exiling himself from the body simply because he was not another member. The foot cannot separate itself from the body because it is not a hand. The ear cannot separate itself because it is not an eye. This separation might occur because a member thinks that it is not worthy enough to be with the others.

But in this next round of comparisons, Paul has parts of the body becoming proud. He has established the principle that one body is made up of many members. And in the false understanding of this, he now rejects the pride that makes one part say to another member that the other member is unnecessary. The eye cannot say to the hand that the hand is not needed. The head cannot say that to the foot.

Theology That Bites Back



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  • Valerie (Kyriosity)

    I think we do this a lot — every time we turn a good gift or a calling into a stick for beating our brothers: “I’m big into evangelism/mercy ministry/exegetical geekery/hospitality/missions/liturgics/whatever, and you should be as into it as I am, or you’re not as good a Christian.” We Nehushtanize our gifts, turning what God meant to be a blessing for His people into an accursed idol that we demand others worship, too.

  • Rob Steele

    I’ve never noticed myself or anyone else exiling himself for not being gifted enough.  I do see the opposite problem.  I think it was Pastor Wilson here who pointed out that the things that upset us when we see other Christians doing them badly are a clue to what our own spiritual gifts are.