“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?”.

1 Cor 12:17 NIV

Sometimes we meet by chance someone who reminds us of someone else. We look twice at the person and say, “Wow, he’s the spit and image of Des”. You might even greet the person before realizing your mistake and then have to apologise! Of course no two people are exactly alike, although identical twins have often managed to fool unsuspecting acquaintances.

It is this natural uniqueness that Paul the apostle was emphasizing when using the body as the basis for understanding the church. But he was thinking of more than natural distinctions. He was saying that the Holy Spirit endows Christian believers with differing spiritual gifts which means that they have both their normal differences and the distinctive differences of their spiritual gifts as well. “Each member is unique, distinctive, irreplaceable, unrepeatable …This is the glory of the church as the body of Christ. Instead of allowing ourselves to be cast in any one mould, we ought to relish the differences and learn to capitalize on them” (D. Prior, The Message of 1 Corinthians, p214). When people accept that they are accepted by Christ and yield their lives to him, a new dynamic begins to work in them, enhancing their uniqueness and distinctiveness. Christ is at work in them, developing them, growing them and enabling hitherto unknown aspects of their personalities to develop.

Christ leads them into new situations, calls for new tasks and cultivates within them skills and abilities they never knew they had. Tendencies that lay dormant come to life and they grow to maturity in Christ.


Lord, bring out the gifts that lie dormant in me.