Unfit--by Kimberly B. Southall

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Christ is the head of the body–the church (Ephesians 4:15; Ephesians 5:23; Colossians 1:18). And Christians make up the remainder of the body of Christ (Romans 12:4-5; 1 Corinthians 10:17; 1 Corinthians 12:12-27; Ephesians 3:6; Ephesians 4:4, 12, 15-16, 25; Ephesians 5:29-30; Colossians 1:24; Colossians 3:15).

There is only one head in the body (the church), and that is Jesus Christ. This means Christ is the brain and does all the thinking. What does this mean for us, the various others parts of the body? It means, as much as is humanly possible, we are to think as Christ thinks–what He thinks and how He thinks it. It means that, no matter which particular part of a physical body we might best be compared to, we ought to be working as Christ directs us to.

This is all as it ought to be–if only we, the body of Christ, were "fit." But mere observation over a few years has led me to the inescapable conclusion that we, Christ's church, are seriously out of shape–we are "unfit." Sure, there are some very faithful Christians who dedicate their lives to serving Christ as they ought. But just a few body parts in good working order does not make a body fit, does it?

What about a physical body which has legs and arms that don't work properly? There are several terms used to describe the condition–disabled, crippled, lame. Do you think Christ's church should be "disabled," "crippled," or "lame"? What about a physical body which has the heart, lungs, liver, or kidneys stop working? Without extreme medical intervention or a transplant, eventually there's one good word to describe it–dead. Do you think Christ's church should be "dead"? Of course not. But are you, part of the body of Christ, actually in full working order? When you receive a brain signal from the "head" (through study and knowledge of God's Word or from the prompting of the indwelling Holy Spirit), do you immediately move into the action you were designed to perform as part of the body? Or are you a useless organ in need of a transplant or a useless appendage which might better be amputated?

What kind of body part do you think you could honestly be compared to? Are you part of the digestive system which takes the nutrients of God's Word and distributes them properly so that the rest of the body will be fit and healthy? Are you the heart which pumps the lifeblood of love and encouragement throughout the body? Are you an arm or a hand which is always available for tending and assisting the rest of the body? Are you a leg or foot which helps to propel the body in the direction it ought to be going?

Or are you an arthritic joint which barely works or which works only with a great deal of pain? Are you a damaged nerve which sends confused or garbled signals from the brain, resulting in great pain somewhere in the body? Are you the part of the skin covered with a rash which diverts the hand's attention away from serving in order to scratch you?

Are you a body part which grotesquely attempts to replace another part of the body? Think about a human being with one hand over his mouth which is speaking the truth while his other hand is telling a pack of lies using sign language. Ludicrous, isn't it? But sadly, all too often, Christians do this very thing when they claim that there are contradictions in God's Word or that the Bible doesn't really means what it says. You see, if one member of the body preaches and teaches the truth of God's Word, and another member of the body contradicts the truth of God's Word, either by word or by deed, it looks ludicrous to the world around us.

Think about a person with good eyesight who clamps his hands over his eyes and then walks about, bumping into things and eventually falls down the stairs and is injured. "He got what he deserved for being so foolish," you might think. But what if the resulting injury was a black eye on the body of Christ? Does Christ deserve a proverbial black eye because we, the body, refuse to see what He wants us to? Absolutely not! So why do we forget our rightful position in the body–servants of our head, Jesus Christ–and do these things?

You see, what we do or don't do and how we perform or don't perform in our role in the body of Christ matters not only to ourselves, but also to all of the others who make up the body of Christ. Let's remember our place in the body of Christ, get in shape, and start functioning as we should, because Christ doesn't deserve to be associated with an unfit body.

Copyright © 2002 Kimberly B. Southall. All rights reserved.