Speaking to the Soul – November 18

Thankful for the gift

The body has many different parts, not just one part. If the foot says, “I am not a part of the body because I am not a hand,” that does not make it any less a part of the body. 1 Corinthians 12:14-15

Many people struggle in life because of an inferiority complex. They are inclined to spend their lives comparing their attributes and abilities with others and convincing themselves that they are no good. This is incredibly sad in any situation and deeply damaging within the Church. Paul insists that every member of the Church is absolutely vital, and so there is never any good reason for one part of the Church to look down on another. He makes the point by laughing at the complete absurdity of a foot looking down on itself because it isn’t a hand, or an ear looking down on itself because it isn’t an eye. It’s completely ridiculous.

It is wrong to look down on our gifts, whatever they are, because God has deliberately given us particular gifts. Paul writes: “It is the one and only Spirit who distributes all these gifts. He alone decides which gift each person should have” (1 Corinthians 12:11).

What God wants is for us to enjoy the gift that he has given to us, recognising that the Church, the body of Christ, can only work because we are all different from one another. At times all of us probably wish that other Christians were more like us. We get frustrated with the different temperaments, preferences and outlooks of other Christians and we dream of a world in which everybody sees things in the same way as we do. But we need to laugh at the absurdity of that, in just the same way as Paul laughed at the parts of the body that looked down on themselves.

What would you say to someone who was suffering with a spiritual inferiority complex?

Lord God, thank you for the gift that you have given me. Help me to treasure it and never to look down on it. Amen