This is part 2 of the article “How to Live in True Community as the Body of Christ.” Be sure to read part 1 here.
As God is teaching me to be more attentive to the rest of the body, I would like to share with you some simple steps we can take.
We simply must be aware. Ask God to open your eyes to the needs around you. And when you hear those needs, make it a priority to listen. Remove distractions, carve out time and just listen.
Suffer with them
Paul writes to the church in Corinth that “when one part of the body suffers, we all suffer with it” (1 Corinthians 12:26 NIV). When sin, unforgiveness, sickness, death, confusion and fear are present, we should all feel it. These people feel lost and powerless. Sometimes the best thing we can do is to bear their pain with them.
Pray for your brothers and sisters in Christ, whether or not you know what they are suffering. When someone opens up to you, pray for him or her right then and there if possible. It’s not comfortable or convenient, but it is powerful and biblical. And when you say you’re going to pray for someone, do it. Then keep reminding them that you have been praying.
Don’t stop at listening and praying. Seek people out regularly. Find ways to encourage your brothers and sisters in Christ and help them to know they are not alone. Send them text messages, call them, send them cards or notes. Volunteer to babysit so a couple can go out on a date night. Surprise a friend with some homemade cookies or a meal. Take someone out to lunch or go on a hike together. Invite friends into your home for a game night. Give a struggling family a gift card. People have all kinds of needs – finances, food, companionship, encouragement, and time. Just as every part of the physical body has an active role in caring for the body as a whole, we all have ways that we can actively care for others.
We are bound together as the body of Christ…we need to act like it. I have a lot of work to do to truly become the aware and reactive part of the body that I need to be. Maybe you do, too. Let’s pray together.
God, we acknowledge that as a people redeemed by You, we are Your body. Develop a spirit of unity among us…connect us in a way that only You as the Head of the body can do. Heighten our senses…make us aware of pain in any part of the body. Hone our reflexes…help us to react quickly and compassionately. Only when we are a truly connected, functioning body can we work as one unit to carry out Your work. May You be glorified in Your people, Your body.
Becca is a regular contributor of Triple Braided. She is a daughter, sister, aunt and, most importantly, a child of the King. She loves singing, reading, hiking, cooking, serving at her church and hanging out with her sweet nieces. Becca works as a curriculum developer at a credit union in her home state of North Carolina.