From the Wisconsin United Methodist Foundatio
Not One Member, But Many - November 2017
For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ. 13For in the one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—Jews or Greeks, slaves or free—and we were all made to drink of one Spirit. 14Indeed, the body does not consist of one member but of many. (1 Corinthians 12:12-14)
A division of labor marks our occupations and social institutions in modern society: people perform highly specialized, but reciprocal and interdependent activities. This results both in greater benefits for the whole and greater dependence of individuals on one another.
Paul the Apostle recognized both this benefit and this interdependence among the followers of Christ. He likened us Christians to body parts. We form a whole Paul calls the Body of Christ, and we are interdependent, “The eye cannot say to the hand, ‘I have no need of you.’” Stewardship is like that. Our gifts work together for the good.
Arthur Tappan Pierson summarized the lesson of 1 Corinthians 12:
Every believer has some gift, therefore all should be encouraged.
· No one has all the gifts, therefore all should be humble.
· All gifts are for the Body, therefore all should be harmonious.
· All gifts are for the Lord, therefore all should be contented.
· All gifts are mutually helpful, therefore all should be faithful.
· All gifts promote the whole Body’s health, therefore none can be dispensed with.
· All gifts depend upon the Holy Spirit’s empowerment, therefore none should be out of fellowship with Him.
Stewardship strives to maximize the impact of our collective gifts.
Jim Wells, Wisconsin United Methodist Foundation