February 25, 2008 Ration

I Corinthians 12:21-22

“The eye cannot say to the hand, ‘I have no need of you,’ nor again the head to the feet, ‘I have no need of you.’ On the contrary, the parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable…”

Artist, your worth in the body is found in Christ as He has put you there. But Christ’s charge to you is to serve the body, not demand to be served or recognized by the body.

As Paul points out, no part can say to the other part, “I have no need of you.” Wherever you feel this pride-filled falsehood beginning to take root in your heart, you must immediately root it out! It is to the contrary, everyone in the body, whether you prefer them or not, whether you understand them or not, whether they like you or not, everyone in the body, and especially those who seem to be “weaker,” is indispensable. They are indispensable for the prosperity of your health. This means that they are, in fact, necessary for you. They may not be necessary for you in a way that you want them to be, they may be necessary for you in a way that you do not yet know you are in need (which works to usher you into a new level in your sanctification process).

When we think about artists in the body of Christ, in general we tend to put them in the category of being one of the “weaker ones” when we define “weaker” as being that part of the body that we can do without today and still survive quite nicely. Almost anyone would probably agree here except the artist. The artist would think that he could survive quite nicely without any accountants being around for a few days. “Why would I need an accountant when I have no money to account,” he says? Both sides demonstrate here their nearsightedness. The aim is not to see how slim you can trim your boat and still stay afloat. The point is that if this is the kind of boat you are crafting, then you do not understand the vessel that God is building. In fact, you may not even be laboring on His ship. Who can build a better, stronger, more pleasurable ship; you or God?

So if God says that everyone is in fact necessary, then it is everyone’s responsibility to be, in fact, necessary. Which first means that we, artists, must stop demanding to be recognized as being necessary, God has already done that here. We must spend our energies on being responsible with what God has given us for our part in the body, for the edification of the body. Artists, if we played our part more effectively, the body would be much healthier and would be less likely to wrongly say, “I have no need of you.”

Frankly, they are often right in one sense though they are wrong in another. Right in the sense that artists are not playing their part very well for the body’s full edification, and that they do not need. But wrong in the sense that that part does not need to be played.

This verse is not a flag to be flown as a demand to be recognized. Rather, stand on it as a ground from which you understand that you have an indispensable part in serving the body, artist, and then start serving! Your health, and the body’s health, hungers for your responsible, edifying service. And artist, never again think that someone is unnecessary for you. Everyone is indispensable for each other because each one's health is limited by the other’s faithfulness in their service.

Artists, be useful for the health and edification of the body in your responsible, selfless, servant-like artistry. Demand recognition no more! Rather, be indispensable - for that is your role!

Jason Harms


© 2008 The Gaius Project