In our society today we all want to be like each other. We all want to have the same style, the same clothes, the same hairdo… you name the trend and most likely everyone wants their hands on it. Sometimes it’s even eating the latest “fad food” that supposedly keeps you healthy and makes you drop pounds within the snap of your fingers. Maybe it’s a diet plan that everyone is talking about. With some, it’s actually a career; your friend may be this big successful person and you may start to convey jealousy overt that because what you do doesn’t seem as successful. Or maybe your friend has this dream of changing the world and going to different countries or cities to preach the word of God and you feel like your dream cannot measure up to something so “of God” than your friends dream.
These things sometimes make us feel like an outcast. They put a world view in our minds that make us think that we need to achieve that, we need to change our dreams and take control of our lives so that we can try to be like someone else or even better than them. We’ve all done it in grade school: you go to school and your best friend is wearing a super cool new shirt and she tells you that it’s going to be the new trend. What did you do? You went home and told Mom that you HAD to have that shirt because your best friend has it and soon EVERYONE is going to have it and if you don’t get it you will be the outcast.
This mindset did not leave our minds when we left grade school friends, it just changed from something as simple as a shirt to the complexity of what is planned for our future. Our society leans more towards conformity and less towards individuality. We have to all be like one another in order to be accepted and other than that is just abnormal.
But wait a minute, let’s take a look at what scripture has to say about this.
For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ. For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—Jews or Greeks, slaves or free—and all were made to drink of one Spirit. – 1 Corinthians 12.12-13
We are all made to “drink of one Spirit”. We are all “baptized into one body”. We are the Church, the body of Christ. This is where our conformity needs to be. We are in conformity with the body of Christ- other believers- not those who love the world.
Let’s continue reading…
For the body does not consist of one member but of many. If the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body. And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body. If the whole body were an eye, where would be the sense of hearing? If the whole body were an ear, where would be the sense of smell? But as it is, God arranged the members in the body, each one of them, as he chose. If all were a single member, where would the body be? As it is, there are many parts, yet one body.- 1 Corinthians 12.14-20
Now Paul is telling us that there is more than just one member of the body, but many. What does He mean by that? He means that we are not all the same. We do not all have the same calling, we do not all have the same personality, gifts, talents, etc. Paul uses the example of if the whole body were an eye, than how could the body hear?
This concept Is carried into the body of Christ as the Church. We each have our own individual talents and Spiritual gifts. Think for a moment about a worship team: it consists of a few singers, a drummer, a bass guitarist, maybe a few electric guitars and an acoustic guitar, a keyboardist, percussionist, and a sound technician (there could be more or there could be less). Now, if the only people who auditioned to play on the worship team were drummers, would that make the team complete? Not really because music consists of more than just drummers. You need all the different components to work together for the music.
The same is true about the body of Christ. We are each given our own individual Spiritual gifts to use within the body. If we all had the same gift, we wouldn’t be able to fulfill what Christ has for us.
This is our individuality. It is important as well as conformity. We can’t have one and not the other because we would not be “complete”.
So, when we look at our friends who are pursuing something that may seem “better” than what we are doing, we need to take a moment and think that God has control of not only their lives, but also our lives. God has a purpose and plan for each of us (Jeremiah 29.11-12). And they are all extremely important.
Now, with that being said, we need to use the Spiritual gifts and talents that God has given us to glorify Him and only Him. Then, we will truly be successful because we are giving back to God what He has given to us.
We need to reach out to the community and work along side those in the Church. This is what Christ has commanded us to do. Through each of our individual gifts, we are in conformity with one another and create the body of Christ, the Church, and through that, we can do powerful things in Jesus Christ who saves us.