“Don’t judge a book by its cover!” Often, it is said that we should not judge a person by his or her outward appearance.
“Tom may look ordinary, but he can sing really well/is a great cook/is really intelligent/(fill in suitable cool ability)!” However, what if Tom is tone-deaf, cannot cook to save his life, is not that academically inclined and does not really have any cool ability that one may admire?
If we don’t judge people by their outward appearance, do we then judge them by their abilities? As fellow brothers and sisters in the body of Christ, can we value each other as an individual person, and accept each other for who God has made us to be?
1 Corinthians 12:12-13
“For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ. For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body – Jews or Greeks, slaves or free – and all were made to drink of one Spirit.”
Christ and His church make up the body, and we are the many parts that have joined into one by His Spirit – regardless of our race, nationality, background, social status and even our abilities. God has made each of us unique, and we all have a part to play in the body of Christ.
God may have given some of us capabilities that enable us to excel more than others.
Perhaps we get things done efficiently and are well liked by others. With such privilege, we then have the added responsibility to look out for those who are side lined, to give encouragement, to support and build up and include everyone in the community. There is much to learn from our seemingly weaker brothers and sisters if we are willing to take time to listen and get to know them. In addition, in the course of reaching out and journeying alongside them, humility and love can be cultivated too.
Some of us may feel like an ear or a foot that perhaps is not as useful as the eye or the hand. However, that does not make us any less part of the body. Each of us have different roles and varying levels of usefulness, but we are all part of the same body and God made each of us unique.
1 Corinthians 12:22-26 says “On the contrary, the parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, and on those parts of the body that we think less honourable we bestow the greater honour… But God has so composed the body, giving greater honour to the part that lacked it, that there may be no division in the body, but that the members may have the same care for one another. If one member suffers, all suffer together; if one member is
honoured, all rejoice together.”
Never believe the lie that “since I’m not good enough, I’ll exclude myself from being involved with the body of Christ”. God uses the weak, and He uses those who make themselves available to Him. There is no need to be envious of those who are more gifted, for God just wants us to be available, and use all that He has given us for His glory.
Let us put aside judgemental eyes and envious hearts that tend to exclude people and ourselves, and replace them with loving and accepting hearts and minds, asking the Spirit to give us wisdom and show us how we can be a united body of Christ for His glory.
“May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you the same attitude of mind toward each other that Christ Jesus had, so that with one mind and one voice you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God.” Romans 15:5-7.
Sister Cherlyn Oh