The kids at my church asked me this question, and it really got me thinking. I hope being part of the body of Christ influences everything I do—whether I’m at work, at home, at church on Sunday morning, or hanging out with friends on Friday night. That is certainly the idea we preach at The High Calling. My daily life matters to God, and this includes my work.
So how does this play out? How is my work different since I’m part of the body of Christ? The more I thought about it, the more I realized how complicated the question is. Because the idea of the body of Christ is complicated.
On the one hand, I think of Luke 22 and the last supper when Jesus says, “This is my body broken for you.” None of us are the body of Christ in this sense. Christ is the ultimate sacrifice, but Paul invites us to see ourselves as living sacrifices in Romans 12. That has implications for how I work. A living sacrifice should not be controlled by unhealthy and selfish ambitions, for instance. Instead, I try to be ambitious to serve others, to listen to them aggressively, and to maintain an open spirit at work. This may not sound too hard, but I mess it up all the time.
The body of Christ also makes me think of the church itself, which Paul describes in 1 Corinthians 12. We are all part of the same body, but we have different functions. Remembering my place in the body of Christ makes it easier for me to accept my role in my current job. I can’t be all things to all people. Some tasks will be outside the scope of my work, and other tasks will need to be delegated. This doesn’t mean that people who report to me have less value than the people I report to. A person’s value is not defined by what they do. This sets me free too. My value as a person isn’t dependent on my productivity at work.
In some ways this is also obvious, but it is easy to start thinking that only leaders matter or only people with power or influence or money. Similarly, I can fall into the trap of thinking I must have power or influence or money if I want my life to matter.
No. Paul reminds us that every part of the body is necessary for the body to remain healthy. Every part of the body matters because it is part of the body.
Good question, kids.