If I chopped off my hand and set it on the pulpit while I went on preaching, both my hand and the rest of my body would suffer a real loss. My hand would lose because it wouldn’t get the benefit of the rest of my body or the flow of blood that it needed. And the rest of my body would lose because it wouldn’t get the benefit of my hand. I would limit both my body and my hand by disconnecting them. The fact that my hand is located in the same building with my body would be meaningless because they’d be disconnected from each other.
Similarly, just showing up at church doesn’t mean you’re benefiting from Jesus’ presence in your life. You may be showing up, but you aren’t truly connected to the rest of the body. Not only will you lose, but others whom God has equipped and prepared you to encourage, serve, and minister to will also lose out on the benefits that would come if your life were attached to theirs.
The Holy Spirit is like blood that flows through the body or like nerves that extend throughout the body. He transfers God’s life to the various parts of the body. Just as a disconnected hand no longer receives the transfer of life, neither do you or I get the full manifestation of the Spirit in our lives when we’re disconnected from each other. God’s flow of life, power, and blessings moves through connectivity—not just our vertical connection with Him but also our horizontal connections with one another.
Have you ever received an email from someone who was supposed to attach a document, picture, or file, but when you started to download it, you got a message that said, “File not attached”? The sender was certainly well meaning but forgot to attach the file. Just as attachments are important in communication, they’re also important in our everyday lives in the body of Christ.
First Corinthians 12 says God has placed a diversity of members and a variety of gifts in the body of Christ so that we can work together in the unity of the Spirit to care for one another:
God has so composed the body, giving more abundant honor to that member which lacked, so that there may be no division in the body, but that the members may have the same care for one another. – 1 Corinthians 12:24-25
You’re a critical part of the body of Christ. You’re an important component in God’s overarching plan. And when you remove yourself from functioning connectivity with others in Christ’s body, the whole body feels the loss.
It takes all the members of the body to make up the body and to make the body work as God designed. Just ask anyone with type 1 diabetes how important the pancreas is. Or ask anyone on dialysis how important the kidneys are. Just as each body part is essential to the proper functioning of the human body, you’re vitally important to the other members of the body of Christ.
This article is an excerpt from the LifeWay bible study, Horizontal Jesus, by Tony Evans.
View Session 1 of Horizontal Jesus Bible Study
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