He makes the whole body fit together perfectly. Ephesians 4:16 nlt
In rural Amish culture, the building of a barn is a social event. It would take months for a single farmer and his family to construct a barn, but the Amish, doing it together, make quick work of it. Lumber is stocked ahead of time; tools are prepped. On the designated day, the entire Amish community gathers early, divvies up tasks, and together pitches in to raise a barn—sometimes in a single day.
This is a good picture of God’s vision for the church and our role in it. The Bible says, “All of you together are Christ’s body, and each of you is a part of it” (1 Corinthians 12:27 nlt). God has equipped each of us differently and divvied up tasks in which we each do our “own special work” as part of a body “fit together perfectly” (Ephesians 4:16 nlt). In community, we’re encouraged to “carry each other’s burdens” (Galatians 6:2).
Yet too often we go it alone. We keep our needs to ourselves, wanting control of our circumstance. Or we fail to reach out and help shoulder the weight of someone else’s need. But God longs for us to connect with others. He knows beautiful things happen when we ask for others’ help and pray for others’ needs.
Only by depending on one another can we experience what God has for us and accomplish His amazing plan for our lives—like building a barn in a day.
What keeps you from sharing your needs with others? What can you do today to reach out to someone else and help shoulder their burden?
Loving God, I know I’m sometimes so private that I shut others out of my life. Help me to reach out and invite them in.
Part of Paul’s purpose in 1 Corinthians 12–14 seems to be to address the belief among some believers in Jesus that those with the ability to speak in tongues have a higher spiritual status than those without that gift. What it means to “speak in the tongues . . . of angels” (13:1) is greatly debated, but what’s clear from 1 Corinthians 12–14 is that the contributions of all believers are equally important. What matters most is that we value and serve each other in the “most excellent way” (12:31) of love.