Did you ever get a paper cut? Isn’t it amazing how something so tiny which happened so fast can cause such a big reaction? The pain isn’t localized to the area of the cut; it seems to wrack every nerve ending in your body. It’s almost like your whole body is in empathy with the cut part and is feeling along with it. “If you’re in pain, I’m in pain.”
Comparing the physical body to the church, 1 Corinthians 12:26 says the same thing. “If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it.” Well that’s the way it’s SUPPOSED to be anyhow. Speaking for myself, I can’t say I have always suffered with other suffering parts of the church. Why don’t I?
Our culture is so fond of independence. We seem to honor making your own way, pulling yourself up by the bootstraps, being a rugged individualist. None of those things lend themselves to the interdependence we are called to in the Body of Christ with Jesus as the head. How can we get back to it?
I think the answer to fulfilling the command to both suffer and rejoice with our entire Body resides in the passage that follows Corinthians chapter 12. It’s “13”, the great LOVE chapter. It says; “And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.” (Verse 13) If we want to put a lot of effort into just one thing, shouldn’t that thing be love?