“But God has so composed the body, giving greater honor to the part that lacked it, that there may be no division in the body, but that the members may have the same care for one another.” (1 Cor. 12:24b-25, ESV)
Many churches love to focus on these verses whenever they teach about spiritual gifts. Yet Paul merely enumerates a list of the gifts without explaining in detail what they are, that is except for the gift of speaking in tongues. The inordinate emphasis on this gift seems to be the cause of most of the trouble and division at Corinth. Paul wanted to correct the problem of spiritual pride and self-aggrandizement which was destroying proper relationships within the body of Christ and providing a poor witness of Christ’s love to those outside the Church. The people of God needed to be humble enough to see that these gifts are provided by the Holy Spirit and that they function properly in community.
Paul words serve to warn us of the dangers of spiritual pride, selfishness, power plays and church politics. These have no place in the church for the Spirit desires to build community and unity so that all who are in the Lord worship Him not just with words but with humility and love toward one another. The members of the Body of Christ need each other to exercise their individual gifts as the spirit leads. Thus no one gift is more valuable than another and one person is indispensable. All of us are members of the Body of Christ and so one with each other. We all need each other and so we must work together for the common good of the Body, not for our own purposes, self-glory or our own agenda.