What happens when you stop demonstrating honor to your physical body? It begins to fall apart. If you eat more and exercise less, you will develop flab. The same holds true to our relationships. When we stop honoring others, flab takes over. When spouses stop showing honor, the relationship looks more like a roommate agreement than a marriage. And when church family members stop honoring others, the church grows out of shape as well.
1 Corinthians 12:12-13 says, "Just as a body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts form one body, so it is with Christ. For we were all baptized by one Spirit so as to form one body - whether Jews or Gentiles, slave or free - and we were all given the one Spirit to drink."
Flab attacks all parts.
Flab doesn't discriminate based on strength.
Even the strongest Christian can fall apart if they abandon routine exercises such as Bible study and prayer. Once we take God out of the equation, we can begin to think that WE are in control. This self-centeredness erases our chance to honor others and weakens our witness. Daily bodybuilding exercises discourage flab.
Flab doesn't discriminate based on usefulness.
Having been a member of several different churches in my lifetime, I've found it intriguing to see how God uses people in changing circumstances. Join the choir here. Play piano there. Teacher. Sound booth. Women's Ministry. God will find a place for anyone - if they are willing to be used. But, just like physical muscles, if you limit use of skills or gifts God blesses you with, you end up with flab. Find the place where God needs you to serve and get in there to start bodybuilding!
"Dishonorable parts" can be attacked by flab.
Not every body part gets to be beautiful, but all are required for health. For example, I'm not a fan of my toes. Honestly. My little toes "AKA pinky toes" kinda roll over on their side when I stand. But if you've ever stubbed your little toe, you quickly realize that tiny digit can have more control over your mobility than you would imagine. In the same way, a church body requires many members behind the scenes doing the less glamorous stuff like scrubbing toilets and emptying the trash. While those with the gift of service would be the first in line to tell you that they don't do the work for accolades, we shouldn't ignore their contribution to the body. I hope you're praying for your worship leaders. And I challenge you to also pray for those selfless few who serve your body behind the scenes. Pray that they keep bodybuilding and aren't tempted to allow the flab of discouragement slow them down.
My art continues my deconstructed flag theme for the month. It is my prayer that we consciously honor others so that our church body becomes a place of refuge. Since each of us is bought by blood, do we treat others as if they have such value?