Are you biased about your calling?
As in, do you believe that what you’re called to do in the body of Christ is more important than someone else’s?
I have to admit that for a split second; I did.
Not only was it about my calling, but also about my beliefs, values, and understanding of the Bible, etc. I actually thought that my views were more important.
Here’s the backstory:
I fell in love with the cultural context in the Bible. It has transformed my understanding of the gospel, the Jewish and other cultures, and especially the idioms and parables used throughout. I’ve learned what Jesus actually meant in some parables because of His Jewishness, why Paul spoke about specific topics because of His Roman upbringing, and how and why the Old and New Testaments are so beautifully intertwined.
It has been revolutionary and life-changing.
But… I became really involved (practically obsessed) in studying this way, that any other way seemed wrong and boring. I began promoting this type of study versus all the other kinds, and judging those who didn’t agree. I started nitpicking sermons and messages, even worship songs, because they weren’t culturally/historically accurate. This brought me from enjoying, learning, and connecting with God to having a “they’re wrong, I’m right and know more” attitude.
That’s when the Holy Spirit stopped me in my tracks and said,
Just because you’re interested in studying the Bible this way doesn’t mean others will be. Not only so, but it may not even be helpful to new believers or people in other types of seasons.
That’s what (or Who) led me to write this post.
4 For as in one body we have many members, and the members do not all have the same function, 5 so we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another.Romans 12:4-5
I’m sure that there are others in the body of Christ that believe their functionality, interests, and position are the most important. People (in general) get obsessed with their areas of interests, values, and core beliefs.
Hypothetically, our body parts might think they’re the most important. Everything wants attention: to be needed, wanted, perfect, and tended to. Yet, each part can’t really work without the other. Each part helps another to function better and more, and steps in when one is incapable.
For example, I need both of my hands to do these two different things: to write with my right hand, and to hold coffee with my left hand. The two are being used in different ways, and I bet if they had minds, each one would think their role is more important. One helps me achieve a goal, while the other helps satisfy me. Both are good and helping me achieve what I want simultaneously, but both also (would if they could) think they’re doing a better job, if not a more significant one.
In the same way, believers in the body of Christ will or may think their function/calling is more important than another. Or a certain teaching or aspect of the gospel is more necessary than another. Whereas, ALL roles and teachings/aspects/revelations, etc. are equally important.
Lately, it’s bothered me how many of us (including myself, again) obsess on emphasizing and pushing our functionalities, views, and interests in the body of Christ against others. As if it’s better and/or the only way to see something. Whether it’s our concerns, core beliefs, views on particular subjects, and even specific understandings or ways to study the Bible, we’ve gotten SO good at pointing out the wooden specks in each other when there are major stumps and logs in ourselves.
3 For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned.Romans 12:3
I’ll confess, admit, and repent right here and now in saying that I often act like I’ve arrived and know-it-all, when I barely scratched the surface. This isn’t to degrade or bully myself, because I have received certain knowledge and revelations by the grace of God, but by no means have I arrived or know absolutely everything. Nor will I. That’s for God.
We have no right to judge and attack another believer. It’s our duty to seek to understand and apply principles from the Word of God first in and to ourselves, and then, if led by the Holy Spirit, to work gently through conversations in love. Yes, we’re to analyze and take things with a grain of salt, but God also requires us to live in harmony and pursue understanding.
Jesus is the ultimate goal and as long as we’re talking about Him, getting closer to Him, and learning about Him from each other, I believe we’re closer to what He called us to do (Matthew 28:19-20). If we sit around and discuss what other Christians are doing, then by golly, WE’VE gotten it wrong.
My brothers, show no partiality as you hold the faith in our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory.James 2:1
Every part of your body helps you somehow.
Just think about it.
From your head to your toes, every part of your body works together to help YOU function. If there’s a hurting part, even the surrounding area signals your nervous system to “be careful, this part’s in pain!” And likewise, the body of Christ.
We work together to help the Spirit of God function through us. If there’s a hurting part, we need to approach them with care, love, and attentiveness, and guidance/direction, if that’s what’s necessary. No matter what, we’re not called to point fingers at each other (just imagine your body parts doing that, how silly is that?), but to seek knowledge and understanding to grow in God.
It is the glory of God to conceal things, but the glory of kings is to search things out.Proverbs 25:2
Altogether, I want to emphasize on how magnificent and vast the Kingdom of God is. There is no end to it (Luke 1:33).
The knowledge, wisdom, and understanding of God is endless and mysterious, yet it’s our glory to seek it out. All throughout the Bible, God invites us to pursue the knowledge of Him, to seek His Kingdom, and share the love of Christ with others. And if we’re not doing that when we analyze each other, what is our goal then, anyway?
It’s not about being better and more important, because the entire body of Christ is equal in importance FOR Christ.
When you’re truly passionate about a specific area/topic, ask God about it and what you could do with it. There must be a reason for it to keep coming up, and He could call you to teach, minister, and expound on it to help others extend their knowledge and understanding. Do some assessment of yourself and the subject itself. If you’re already walking in and living out your calling, ask yourself if you’ve neglected or judged other members of the body for not doing what you are.
Let’s continue to keep our hearts and minds available, open to learn, and trust that Holy Spirit will guide us to ALL TRUTH.
- Are you or have you been extremely interested in one part of the Gospel that caused dissension in any of your relationships? If so, how did you navigate the conversation?
- What are your thoughts on edification in the body of Christ? And how do you do it in love and understanding?
- If you’d like, share with me if at any point in reading this blog you disagreed and thought otherwise, OR if it helped you come out of a specific mindset (like I did!).
“All that you do must be done in love.” 1 Corinthians 16:14.
For some reason Paul’s words kept coming to mind as I read your post.
Someone once told me a secret of successful leadership. It is based on positive relationships. Nobody cares if I’m right if I’m also a jerk.
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That’s very true! I’ve been reading Stan Toler’s leadership book, and this principle seems mentioned in every chapter! And those words of Paul also resonated with me. Thank you for your comment!