Read 1 Corinthians 12:12
12 The human body has many parts, but the many parts make up one whole body. So it is with the body of Christ. (NLT)
Christians believe two apparently contradictory things. One is that we are all created unique by God. The other is that we are not merely individuals but are part of a group of other people who likewise belong to God through Jesus.
This means we avoid feeling as if we have to be like everyone else. Our children don’t have to turn out like others’ children. Our feelings about Jesus don’t have to be identical to others’ feelings. We may admire someone else’s competence or skill but we are not necessarily called to have the same competence or skill. God made us to be our best selves, not the selves of others.
It also means we avoid feeling as if we have no connection to or responsibility for other people. We do not simply ‘mind our own business’. We cannot grow in Christ without the help of others. We need them and they need us. To paraphrase the poet, we are not islands but part of a wider continent.
This is the essence of what Paul is saying to the Corinthians. You are unique and individual, not a nameless cog in some anonymous machine. Then again, you do not have a simply independent existence. Your unique self-belongs with other unique selves. In your own different and distinctive ways you belong to and serve the same God.
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