Have you ever spent hour after hour working on a jigsaw puzzle only to discover there is a piece missing? Personally, this is one of the most frustrating things I have ever experienced. More often than not, it seems like the pieces that disappear are the ones that go right in the center of the image—you can’t miss seeing the hole where the piece should be. It is incredible how one piece can make a difference in such a giant puzzle. Without it, the entire puzzle isn’t complete! The question is—do we ever think this way about the church?
Within 1 Corinthians 12, Paul uses the illustration of the human body to talk about the various members that make up the church. Each member, as Paul describes, has a unique and special gift (12:8-10) that is for the benefit of the whole body. The problem was that certain people within Corinth were wanting another’s gift rather than the one they were given. Throughout the discussion, Paul’s overall message to the church is “there are many members, but one body” (12:12, 14, 20, 27). Can the body function properly if one of the parts is wanting to be another? Or if certain parts of the body are not present at all? Of course not!
The same is said for the body of Christ. Each of us has been given a specific gift that can be used for the benefit of the entire church. When we all work together in using those individual gifts, the whole body is complete and will function properly. However, the opposite is also true. If we do not have every member utilizing their abilities as part of the body, there is no way for the body to be successful or complete. Just like the puzzle, if one member/individual is missing, the entire body is incomplete. Are there members/fellow Christians in the church that are not using their gifts or talents for the work of the church? Perhaps they do not know what those abilities are. Encourage that individual to help the church be what it was created to be. Help each other discover the skills that can be utilized to help the church become more whole. Remember, just one missing piece can make a big difference—the church is no different. Each of us is a unique piece of this puzzle. Let’s make sure no one piece is missing!