In the Body of Christ, Why Do I Always Feel Like the Appendix?
Romans 12:4-5 “For just as we have many members in one body and all the members do not have the same function, so we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another.”
But what does that really mean? Why use that analogy? And are there more important members than others?
I sometimes feel that way. There are times when I feel like a lowly portion of the body. And I NEVER have felt like I am one of the "important" parts. Those must be reserved for people who are doing fabulous work all over the world and are well known and have written tons of books, right? They are the lungs, liver, heart, stomach, and other vital organs.
But me…most days I feel like the appendix. A tiny little thing that goes unnoticed, and the body DEFINITELY can live without.
Have you ever felt that way? As moms, we often feel that in the realm of the global Church, we are a tiny little thing that goes unnoticed, and the body DEFINITELY can live without us. We feel we aren’t really doing much for the greater body.
But think about it. When Romans says we are members in one body and all do not have the same function, that means we are all given a unique function. And if God gave us that function, wouldn’t He in his omniscience give us the best function for us to do? And if it wasn’t an important one, why would he give it to us? Why would he give it to anyone?
Each part of the body is necessary.
Think of the appendix again. Many evolutionists consider it a vestigial organ, a useless “leftover” of our evolutionary past. Until recent years, the appendix was thought to serve no real purpose.
But as science is advancing, we are learning that this little organ plays an important role in our immune system. For one, it behaves as a storage for good bacteria. So when a person gets a digestive illness, the appendix can repopulate it with good bacteria again.
This situation can often happen when we need to take a course of antibiotics for a sickness. The medicine will reduce all bacterial populations, good and bad. And those good guys living in the appendix are less likely to be affected, so they can reboot the digestive system.
Granted. You CAN live without your appendix. But you also can live without your arms and legs, without your spleen, without a good portion of your colon, or part of your liver, or minus a kidney. But that doesn’t mean those organs and body parts aren’t important. Their presence helps make the body thrive!
And all body parts need each other.
1 Corinthians 12:12 “For even as the body is one and yet has many members, and all the members of the body, though they are many, are one body, so also is Christ.”
When a person walks, they need to utilize so many of their body parts. The legs (bones, muscles, and nerves) and the arms have to move in a coordinated fashion. The brain is constantly sending out messages to them. The eyes keep watch for obstacles, and even the inner ear plays a part, keeping our balance. Without the tiniest of calcium nodules there, called ossicles, we couldn’t keep our balance, and we would have a difficult time walking. You see, all these components are needed to work together for us to do something as simple as take a few steps forward.
Psalm 133:1 “Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brothers to dwell together in unity!”
What a great analogy. Each part of the body, big and little, grand and humble, is important and serves a greater purpose than an individual role.
We see this when the body is injured, too.
When one part of the body becomes injured, what does the rest of the body do? It works to heal the injury. It sends blood with special cells to stop the bleeding. It sends food and chemicals to support the rebuilding of muscle and skin. It sends them to heal bone. That is because the body is FOR itself. It functions better if all of its parts are working. This interconnection reminds us that we should all be FOR each other, too.
If you are feeling like the appendix in the body of Christ today, rejoice! You have been given an important role. Whether it is to encourage thousands or to make a salad for your family, you are doing a God-given job that has kingdom impact. You are raising your children to be character-filled and to boldly go into the world and serve others. You are building others up as you spend your time in prayer. You are building relationships with others in your church or neighborhood as you bring over a casserole or give an understanding hug.
You are an awesome appendix!
Not in the limelight. Quietly doing your day-by-day job. And serving the greater body of Christ as you do it.
Helping members of our body makes us all STRONGER.
AND… when we do this, we are being a light to the world. This is not the way the world usually works. People want to be on their own. They are only concerned for themselves. But we are a body, called to build relationships with each other. That builds us all up. We won’t look like the rest of the world. And that is a good thing. We are showing them that God’s ways are better than man’s ways.
So go on and be an awesome appendix today! I know I will try to “appendix well,” too!