‘Each part… helps the other parts grow.’ Ephesians 4:16 NLT
Paul writes: ‘As each part does its own special work, it helps the other parts grow, so that the whole body [church] is healthy and growing and full of love.’ Let’s look at two different kinds of growth—symbiotic growth and parasitic growth.
Symbiotic growth is a give-and-take relationship in which both sides benefit.
Parasitic growth is when one side feeds off another but gives nothing back.
So when you come out of church and say, ‘I didn’t get anything out of that service,’ you may be practising parasitic growth. Parasitic growth is characterised by such words as ‘pray for me, preach to me, counsel me, help me… but expect nothing from me.’ Symbiotic growth is characterised by such words as: ‘yes, I have needs, but I’m willing to give, too, because everyone needs to benefit.’ Your body is made up of systems. These include the nervous system, circulatory system, muscular system, lymphatic system, skeletal system, immune system, etc. These systems rely on one another. They are interdependent. So when one of them goes down, the rest of the body is negatively impacted by it. Instead of saying, ‘I’m going to church,’ remind yourself, ‘I am the church.’ Paul writes: ‘The human body has many parts, but the many parts make up one whole body. So it is with the body of Christ… and God has put each part just where He wants it.’ (1 Corinthians 12:12, 18 NLT) God wants you to be a fully functioning part of His church. And if you’re not sure what your ‘part’ is, ask Him and He will show you.
SoulFood: 1 Sam 14–15, Matt 22:34–46, Ps 102:1–11, Prov 17:4–6
The Word for Today is authored by Bob and Debby Gass and published under licence from UCB International Copyright 2023