The body is a unit of many parts – why would you possibly think that the parts would act first of their own interest before that of the rest of the body?! Imagine if the foot said ‘Hey hand forget about me I add nothing’ or the ear shouted to the eye ‘leave me behind, I am worthless’!
Ludicrous! The point is we shouldn’t think it because it is such a ridiculous picture.
Paul says to the Corinthians: those who belong to the body of Christ, don’t assume you have nothing to give. God has arranged his body (his people) to play a part in serving together for his glory (1 Cor 12:12-31).
The default here is that those in Christ serve as part of the body. Some in weaker ways, some in less honorable ways, some presentably and some with special honour – but all together, with no division and with equal concern for one another such that suffering is shared and rejoicing is collective.
One sign of a healthy church is when all or most members are serving God and others in some way or ways. A sign of a spiritually unhealthy church is when many who call themselves members are really just going for the ride and don’t serve in anyway.
It is interesting that Paul in writing to the Corinthians does not apply the principle individually – that is, when the individual is not serving as part of the body – it is an issue for the whole church!
Praise God together when members of 5pm Church serve God and one another for the sake of God’s glory (which happens every week day in and out). There is a personal sacrifice in action when any individual thinks first about the body before that of the personal desire or want.