Growing In Faith
God loves to see Christians working together submitting to His will. Think of Christianity as your local Walmart. There is one store, but there are many different departments within that store. One department can do things another cannot, but they still have the same goal.
In the same way our different physical body parts function to keep us alive, we as Christians also need to work in harmony and unity to keep the spiritual body of Christ going. There are three main points as to why functioning as the body of Christ is so important: recognition that Christ is the head, that we are all parts of the same body, and that there is a role for every one of us.
We are all part of the same body – Christ’s body – and so we should be united in love. Rather than competing against each other, the body is healthy only when each organ works hard to function.
In Christianity there is one body, but there are many different functions. God has blessed us all differently. 1 Corinthians 12 talks about the many spiritual gifts, but from the same Spirit, that we are all one body with many parts and God has put each part just where He wants it. In verse 28 (ESV) it lists some of the parts God has appointed for the church: "first are apostles, second are prophets, third are teachers, then those who do miracles, those who have the gift of healing, those who can help others, those who have the gift of leadership, those who speak in unknown languages."
We all have different abilities, but our main goal should be God and the advancement of His kingdom.
So why does the body of Christ work against each other sometimes?
We have to remember that we all have our place in the body of Christ and we all have our own area of calling. And there’s no room for competition, jealousy, strife, division, unforgiveness, bitterness, contention, or vain glory. These things will only hurt the body and keep it from advancing the kingdom of God.
That’s why Ephesians 4:31-32 (ESV) warns and instructs us to, “Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words and slander, as well as all types of malicious behavior. Instead, be kind to each other, tender-hearted, just as God through Christ has forgiven you.” We all need forgiveness. We all need mercy. And we all need to be able to extend it to those whom we work with. So, if there is anything of the sort happening as you are pressing to do God’s work, then get it right with God and the other person. Don’t let it fester, be a stumbling block, stagnate you, or be a hindrance to your effectiveness. Remember, we are one and we are a team.
Another thing that we have to watch out for is the enemy’s tactics with pinning us against one another or comparing ourselves to each other while we serve. This is a danger zone! Each of us does the work the Lord gave us. One job may be to plant the seed in hearts, and another water it, but it was God, not we, who make it grow…The one who plants and the one who waters work as a team with the same purpose. Yet, they will be rewarded individually, according to their own hard work. We work together as partners who belong to God.
There is no need for competition. Each person has their own part to play. And when we do what we are called to do together, God brings forth the increase in other people’s lives for His glory. This is unity! He then rewards us individually for it!