I'm having a hard time in verses 22-26. Here's what they say...
22 On the contrary, the parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, 23 and on those parts of the body that we think less honorable we bestow the greater honor, and our unpresentable parts are treated with greater modesty, 24 which our more presentable parts do not require. But God has so composed the body, giving greater honor to the part that lacked it, 25 that there may be no division in the body, but that the members may have the same care for one another. 26 If one member suffers, all suffer together; if one member is honored, all rejoice together.
I'm working on those phrases that I underlined. That is very contrary to the way an organization works in the world. For the most part, in the corporate world, if an employee is slowing down the company or hurting the image...they are let go. As for the church, though, Paul is saying just the opposite. The folks that are struggling should receive greater attention than the ones that are average or above.
I asked someone yesterday that does not attend Smiths Grove Baptist Church, "What does that look like in your church?" This is a very real issue that we need to get right. Paul has people in mind here, not just parts of a body that make up a nice analogy.
How many times have I given someone a smile as passed on Sunday, but in my mind I wasn't really valuing them. I was pitying them, but I wasn't interested in showing them "greater honor" and I certainly did not believe they were "indispensable".
Who are those people in your church that you would put on a list of being dispensable? Are they the weak? Are they the aged? Are they the physically handicapped or disabled? Are they people who have falled into public sin? Who? Who? Who?
If they are truly part of the body, we are called to cover them in love and "greater modesty". I hope you think about this the next time you take your seat in the place you gather to worship with fellow church members or pass some of these unsightly people in the hall. I wonder if you'll go out of your way to speak to them and get to know them? I wonder if I will?
If one member suffers, all suffer together; if one member is honored, we all rejoice together.