Happiness Reflection Guide – September 26, 2019
Read: 1 Corinthians 12:12-26
12 Just as a body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts form one body, so it is with Christ. 13 For we were all baptized by one Spirit so as to form one body—whether Jews or Gentiles, slave or free—and we were all given the one Spirit to drink. 14 Even so the body is not made up of one part but of many. 15 Now if the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason stop being part of the body. 16 And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason stop being part of the body. 17 If the whole body were an eye, where would the sense of hearing be? If the whole body were an ear, where would the sense of smell be? 18 But in fact God has placed the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be. 19 If they were all one part, where would the body be? 20 As it is, there are many parts, but one body.21 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!” 22 On the contrary, those parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, 23 and the parts that we think are less honorable we treat with special honor. And the parts that are unpresentable are treated with special modesty, 24 while our presentable parts need no special treatment. But God has put the body together, giving greater honor to the parts that lacked it, 25 so that there should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other. 26 If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it. (1 Corinthians 12:12-26)
Study: Writing to Christians in the city of Corinth, the apostle Paul vividly expressed a truth found in many parts of the Bible: we cannot live a truly blessed life alone, looking after only our own well-being. As “the body of Christ,” and more broadly as a single human family, what harms one of us harms all of us, and what helps one in the end helps us all. Mutual support is a main reason for being God’s family, not just a side benefit. God gave respect to the body’s less visible parts “so that there won’t be division in the body and so the parts might have mutual concern for each other” (verse 25). Can you recognize when you need love and support from other Christians, and accept as well as give it? Like most of us, the Corinthians tended to be competitive. Paul didn’t just write about suffering, but triumphs: “if one part gets the glory, all the parts celebrate with it” (verse 26). Does celebrating when someone else gets the glory come easily to you? If not, how can God’s presence fill your life’s empty places, and free you to celebrate others?
Pray: I celebrate your body that you have entrusted to us Lord. Guide me in lifting up ALL who are in you. Amen.