Bob Tamasy: Never Underestimate How Much We Need Each Other

  • Monday, April 22, 2024
  • Bob Tamasy
Bob Tamasy
Bob Tamasy

When I was a boy, one of my favorite hobbies was assembling model cars, airplanes and ships. Opening each box, I’d see an assortment of parts – some small, some large – all waiting to be placed in their designated spots.

It’s similar in putting a puzzle together. Whether it consists of 24 pieces, 100, 500, 1,000 or more, there’s a specific spot for each piece. Border pieces don’t fit in the middle, and vice versa. To successfully assemble a puzzle, you must find the right place for every piece and put every piece in its place. And if just one piece is missing, the project is incomplete.

Have you noticed this is true for the human body as well? We each are a mass of bones, skin, hair, tendons, organs, nerves, blood, and other “pieces.” Some parts are expendable – we cut our hair, trim nails, lose teeth and grow new ones. But other parts of the body are essential. We literally can’t live without them.

Take the human brain, for example. We can’t do without a brain – although it seems that some people are doing their best to try. No one can live without a heart, even those who seem heartless. The same can be said for our lungs, liver, kidneys, and other internal organs. One definition of good health is to have all of our human parts in the right places and doing their jobs properly.

This is one reason the Bible uses the human body as a metaphor for the Church. In 1 Corinthians 12 the apostle Paul writes, “The body is a unit, though it is made up of many parts; and though all its parts are many, they form one body. So it is with Christ…. Now the body is not made up of one part but of many…. 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? But in fact God has arranged the parts of the body, every one of them, just as He wanted them to be. If they were all one part, where would the body be? As it is, there are many parts, but one body” (1 Corinthians 12:12-20).

Shift this analogy to the Church. There’s a tendency to focus on the senior pastor, the pastoral staff, maybe the worship leader and a few others. But just as each part of the human body is essential, so is every member of the congregation. We all have different spiritual gifts; we also have different interests, abilities, learned skills, experience and resources that we can contribute.

As Paul observes earlier in the same chapter, “There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit. There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. There are different kinds of working, but in all of them and in everyone it is the same God at work.(1 Corinthians 12:4-6).

There’s another side to this we should consider. Just as each of us is needed and we can contribute what we have and who we are to the benefit of the whole body of Christ, we also need each other. The human heart performs unique, critical functions within the body, but apart from the lungs, the brain, or other organs, it can’t function.

Similarly, someone might be extremely gifted and talented spiritually, but apart from the fellowship of believers who possess other abilities, that person won’t accomplish much – if anything – for the kingdom of God. Where would the Rev. Billy Graham have been in his global ministry if it were not for folks who did the advance planning and preparations, lined up venues, promoted his crusades, invited guests, counseled those who responded and did necessary follow-up, among other things?

But this goes far beyond big, headline-grabbing events. I often think of Hebrews 10:24-25 in which we’re told, “And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another….” Trying to be a “lone ranger Christian” can be a lonely journey as best, a path to spiritual disaster at worst. We all need encouragement, accountability and support.

This is especially true as we attempt to deal with big decisions and the inevitable challenges of everyday living. Sometimes pride tempts us not to ask for help or counsel. Other times we don’t want anyone to advise us not to do what we’ve already decided upon. But shunning the wisdom of others is flirting with danger.

I like the way Proverbs 18:1 puts it: “He who separates himself seeks his own desire; he quarrels against all sound wisdom.” Another proverb states it a bit differently but offers the same conclusion: “The way of a fool seems right to him, but a wise man listens to advice” (Proverbs 12:15).

We should no more attempt to live for Christ without partnering with other believers than we would try to leave our homes without our heads. It doesn’t work. Each of us is an important part of the body of Christ. We’re needed. But we’re only one part. We need others as well.

* * *

Robert J. Tamasy is a veteran journalist, former newspaper editor and magazine editor. Bob has written, co-authored and edited more than 15 books. These include the newly published, ”Marketplace Ambassadors”; “Business At Its Best: Timeless Wisdom from Proverbs for Today’s Workplace”; “Tufting Legacies,” “The Heart of Mentoring,” and “Pursuing Life With a Shepherd’s Heart.” A weekly business meditation he edits, “Monday Manna,” is translated into more than 20 languages and sent via email around the world by CBMC International. The address for his blog is www.bobtamasy.blogspot.com. His email address is btamasy@comcast.net.

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