God's word in today's world

Allowing others some space

1 Corinthians12:21-26

I ask myself the question:  Why does Paul stress the body parts so much? Didn’t he already make his point? Ok, I do get it that in those days people had many quarrels among each other and that it was necessary for Paul to reprimand them more than once. But does this make any sense to me today?  At first I wanted to deny this, but then I realised that this is still relevant to me and you today.

You know, we have become too used to our way of life. We actually think that our way of life is the only way to do things. The people who are not on the same level as us are lazy and stupid and if they had made better use of their chances they would have been more successful in life. The other people who have achieved more than us are simply snobbish and selfish and do not take note of others in need.

This is not fair. Every person on earth has the right and place to exist and who are we to classify or to number? I always tell my wife that we get so occupied by the game of life that we do not have a clear vision of what is really going on. Now and then we have to stop the match, sit on the pavilion and simply figure out where we fit into the game.

When you sit on the pavilion you will at one time or another realise that the others are not better off or worse off than you are but that each one has a role to play in life. If one person was not there, you have had to take his place and you definitely would not have enjoyed that because that is not you!

So what is the case? Is there perhaps a person or a group of people you need to allow some space? It is not necessary to invite each and every one for a barbeque. Maybe you simply have to allow the person or persons to enjoy their rightful place in the sun so that they may flower as well!

Perhaps it is about more than simply allowing for some space: 25The way God designed our bodies is a model for understanding our lives together as a church: every part dependent on every other part, the parts we mention and the parts we don’t, the parts we see and the parts we don’t. 26If one part hurts, every other part is involved in the hurt, and in the healing. If one part flourishes, every other part enters into the exuberance.

In the body, or actually in the world where we live today, it is not only about allowing for some space for each other and saying: “You can do what you want on your molehill but please just leave me alone!” No! Here we receive three major instructions:

1.     Don’t argue! Do you know that God hates it when we argue and fight? Sit back for a while and think: Who stands in the middle of the arguing? About whose needs is it? Who wins? Try not to do it. It puts others down. It destroys relationships and spreads negative energy.

2.     Have respect! I don’t have respect for others if I spread stories behind their backs.  I don’t have respect if I insult someone’s name.  God hates that! Maybe we have to respect others the way we want them to respect us.

3.   Care for each other! We certainly need compassion for one another.  How can I throw a huge party and have a barbeque with flavours filling the room while my neighbour is searching in my garbage bin for food?

Ouch!  Now I’m getting too close to home!

Yesterday I received an e-mail form a friend. She had just discovered that she has osteoporosis. My heart ached for her and I was very upset because a part of the body is hurt, therefor I also hurt.

Perhaps we have to put our actions under the magnifying glass. We have to inspect how we play the game of life. Perhaps we have to get out from behind our high walls and allow others more space. Maybe care is exactly what the other person needs now.


Where do you have to stop arguing?

Where do you have to show more respect?

To whom should you allow more space and to whom should you pay more attention?


Father, I know we become entangled in our own lives so easily and then we don’t see the places where You want us to be your hands and feet.  You gave us gifts and we have to use it in this world. Open our eyes to see. Waken us so that Your will be done everywhere we go. Amen

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