the weblog of Alan Knox

The weaker are indispensable

Posted by on Feb 2, 2010 in community, discipleship, fellowship, scripture, spiritual gifts | 2 comments

I’ve been thinking about 1 Corinthians 12 again recently, especially this passage:

On the contrary, the parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, and on those parts of the body that we think less honorable we bestow the greater honor, and our unpresentable parts are treated with greater modesty, which our more presentable parts do not require. But God has so composed the body, giving greater honor to the part that lacked it, that there may be no division in the body, but that the members may have the same care for one another. (1 Corinthians 12:22-25 ESV)

Paul makes an extraordinary claim here in the context of spiritual gifts. Those people with gifts which seem weaker or less honorable are actually indispensable and worthy of greater honor.

Who are the people with “weaker” gifts, and how do we demonstrate that they are indispensable and worthy of greater honor?


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  1. 2-9-2010

    At what great cost have we gained so little. We have ruled out 95% of the life of a family in our formality and in our quest to keep up appearances that meet the world’s approval.

    I think we need to look past sizing up the importance of contributions–and the methods of these contributions–based on how they make us appear in the eyes of the world (and the eyes of those who are careless in their journey). Is speaking the only way to function (must all be mouths)?

    And we cannot do this without also considering the environment we craft and choose for our gathering. I mean both physically and the atmosphere we create by our level of formality. Just the idea that a meeting “starts” and now everyone must shut up, only 1 person may speak from here on, and everyone must give undivided attention, and no one must move or do anything without permission–oh how very weird for a family to act like this together! These have a great impact in shutting out the natural functions of these important members of His body.

    Sure, at a family reunion, someone may ask for everyone’s attention for a few moments. But it would be rare. Most often, people cuddle up in groups and jabber away, sometimes dragging someone over to join in on some particular point. No one is excluded from functioning in the most natural ways.

    Look around, and you will see love and tenderness being meted out generously. You will see the young caring for the old, the children laughing and playing with freedom and security, the men sometimes pulling aside, the women, too, but the gathering continues to flex and flow as everyone interacts, gives, receives, appreciates, enjoys, loves.

    There was one family, but it was not a singular meeting in an artificial, formal manner, and so all contributed in constantly shifting collections of people. Think back and recall the family times together with uncles and aunts and nieces, cousins, and nephews and gramma and grampa. Remember the chaotic, ordered, joy of being together? Who has such thoughts of Sundays at 11 AM to noon?

    In the end, everyone was fed a meal, everyone found acceptance, everyone contributed in many ways at various opportunities that presented themselves quite naturally throughout the time together. Service–caring for the needs of others–is highly valued and esteemed in these families. All felt themselves an important part of being together; all had a place. Even those unskilled in public oratory.

  2. 2-9-2010


    Great comment! It deserves to be more than a comment…



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