INTERDEPENDENCE
Friday, December 29, 2017
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“Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it.” 1 Corinthians 12:27

Society tells us to strive for independence. It says we are all unique individuals who should be proud of who we are. Children are encouraged to be out of the house by the age of 18, and we are all pushed to find our identity in our inner feelings and desires. While these things are not wrong in themselves, and the Bible confirms we have gifts and talents that make us unique, too great a focus on independence is actually a weakness, not a strength, according to Scripture.

We were not created to be independent. When God said of Adam in the Garden of Eden, “It is not good for the man to be alone” (Genesis 2:18), He was not just referring to marriage. He was talking about humanity’s built-in need to have meaningful relationships and to build off each other’s strengths. This is what Paul means when he talks about the body of Christ, which is His church. Every Christian is a different part of that body, comprising the church, and meant to use our spiritual gifts alongside each other to accomplish God’s work. A body requires many different parts to function, and not one part is more important than another.

Individualism, however, tells us we do not need the rest of the body. It is exactly as Paul says when he writes: “The eye cannot say to the hand, ‘I don’t need you!’ And the head cannot say to the feet, ‘I don’t need you!’” (1 Corinthians 12:21). No matter how perfect an eye’s vision is, it will not be able to complete the work of the body on its own. Even those of us with wide ranging talents are still only one part in the body of Christ. Just as a hand or foot cannot function properly on its own, neither can we.

This is a blessing! God wants us to work in interdependence with others. The unique gifts and talents God has given to each of us are not for the purpose of benefitting ourselves, but to expand His kingdom. Independence is a weakness because we are inclined to act on our own rather than to depend on God, and it is He who accomplishes His work through us. In being independent of others we miss out on the beautiful nature of community in which we work together, receiving encouragement and direction that strengthens each other. What God accomplishes on this earth, He accomplishes through His church, which is every Christian working together in utter dependence on the Holy Spirit and under the Lordship of Jesus Christ. Anything less is simply rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic!

PRAYER: Thank You, God, for people within Your church who strengthen and encourage me. Help me to do the same, using the unique gifts you have given me. Thank You, Lord.


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