1 Corinthians 12:25-27, “So that there should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other. If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it. Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it.”

This verse came to me when I least expected it and probably needed it the most. I had just finished working out with friends and it was a lifting day. Now for a bit of context I weigh a buck thirty soaking wet, so lifting totally isn’t my strong suit.

It had been a particularly difficult workout too. The weight of the world felt like it had been hung on the bar, and my little self just was not having it. I finished every lift though, and you’d think at this point I would have been content.  I had put in the work, I was growing, and I was getting better.

But in the back of my mind something just wasn’t clicking right. Then the tsunami hit. “Why am I so weak? Why can I only lift a fraction of what everyone else is lifting? We’re practically the same size.  Why can’t I do what she can? I have to work so hard compared to everyone else for what little I can do.  How is this fair?”

Looking back, I had lifted no less than what I always lifted and actually had already began to improve.  So why was I so discouraged?  If we go back and look at the questions I was asking myself, there’s a nasty little thread that’s running through every one of them: comparison.

It wasn’t that I was weak that day and not the past times; I was focused on how much more others were lifting than I was.  It wasn’t that our sizes had magically balanced out with one another; I noticed that I was smaller, and I wasn’t lifting near as much as them.  It wasn’t that any of us were working harder or less than we had before; I singled in on how easy it was for some and not me.

I think so many times we fall into the trap of comparison. We focus on, “I can’t do this.” or “I can’t do that.”  “I don’t have this.” or “I don’t have that.”  I’m not this” or “I’m not that.”  And we totally miss out on this one key concept that Isaiah talks about: We are ALL a part of the body of Christ.

You look at the human body and the brain doesn’t go, “Ugh.  I just hate those feet! Look at them sitting there with ten toes.  Why can’t I have ten toes??” No! The brain understands that its purpose doesn’t require it to have ten toes.  That’s the feet’s responsibility.  At the same time, when the brain has a headache, the feet don’t sit there and go, “Haha stupid brain, you have a headache!” Our feet know that by one part of the body having an issue, it effects the entire body.

Each part of our body (a finger, toe, lung, heart) has its own individual purpose as they all work together. What’s even more incredible is that if one part of the body isn’t functioning properly, another will do what it can to help. If our lungs are struggling, the heart will pump faster to pick up the slack.

By each and every one of us being a part of the body of Christ, we go through the very same things that the human body goes through. The only difference is that we as Christians have lost sight of that interconnectedness when we start to compare ourselves to others.

We lose sight of what the big picture is (the whole body) and focus on the things that we are lacking. When really, we should be focusing on our individual purpose, the attributes God gave us specifically for His purpose, and how we can help each other as the body of Christ.

In the body of Christ, some of us will be made to minister.  Some of us will be made to be doctors or lawyers, but all in all every one of us will be made for so many different things.  Take for example those of us who were made to worship. You’ve got people who have been blessed with these amazing voices, and then those who have been blessed with these amazing abilities to play instruments for God.  Now I, for one, could not hold a rhythm for the life of me.  If you handed it to me in a box, it would be gone. And you know what?  That’s totally okay! All that means is the purpose that God has created me for doesn’t involve rhythm.

Every one of us have been created differently and face different struggles.  Embrace your uniqueness knowing that whatever purpose God has given you is meant to work together with others in the body of Christ.  None of us have to do any of this alone, and we certainly shouldn’t push others away because of their differences.

— Written by Michaela