If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it.
Thoughts for Today:Several years ago I was really beginning to enjoy playing tennis. I had a group of friends who I played with regularly. It was great fellowship, competition, and exercise. And I was getting better each month I played. One cold fall morning I was running late. Rather than take a few extra minutes to warm up properly, I jumped right into the heat of a doubles match. A short while later, while lunging to make a play on a short volley, I heard a pop as I pulled the hamstring muscle of my right leg. The rest of my body wanted to continue with the game, but my hamstring said, "I've had enough." Even though there was nothing wrong with my wrist, shoulder, elbow or knee -- every other part was subject to the injury of my leg muscle. I had to call it quits.
In our passage today, Paul revisits the imagery of the body. He makes the point that the human body is made up of interdependent units, so no part can function in isolation of another. Illness or injury can't be localized because each organ is supported by the whole system. But, it also works in reverse. If my right arm delivers a perfectly executed backhand volley to win a point in tennis, does my left arm get upset? Of course not, my whole body rejoices as one. The same is true for believers -- we both suffer and celebrate together. Why? Because we're all members of the same body.
Questions to Ponder:How do you respond when a brother or sister in Christ is suffering? What is your first reaction when a fellow believer is honored? Do you hurt for those who are hurting? Do you rejoice with those who are rejoicing? Or do you feel something else? Romans 12:15: "Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn."