The eye cannot say to the hand, “I don’t need you!” And the head cannot say to the feet, “I don’t need you!” 1 Cor. 12:21
A friend of mine told me how much she liked last week’s devotional post, Your best isn’t good enough, but she thought the title wasn’t very edifying. So this week I thought I’d try writing a title that oozes warm fuzzies. 🙂
The truth is, I don’t like saying that. I bet you don’t either. It’s much easier to say, “I don’t need you,” and write a post with that title. We envision ourselves as independent sorts, don’t we? And when people treat us badly, it feels satisfying to proudly just turn and walk away. Who needs them, right?
But as much as I like to think that I don’t need people, it doesn’t change the fact that I do.
In the garden, God created Eve because Adam needed help and, “It is not good for man to be alone” (Gen. 2:18). In 1 Corinthians 12, Paul wrote a whole entire chapter about how interconnected God created His people to be. That guy wasn’t even married, so his scope had to have been bigger than just the relationships between husbands, wives, and their kids.
Nope, it’s not just a few select people you’re close to that you need. You need him, too. And her. And, as much as you hate to admit it, even that guy.
Granted, that guy may not be on board with the same principle, but it’s still true. Whether he causes the division or you do, the result is the same. When we don’t need each other, we narrow our experience and opportunities, and diminish our role in the function of God’s perfect design.
I think most of us probably get 1 Corinthians 12, at least in theory. We know we are the body of Christ, and that it takes all of us working together to accomplish His purposes in the world. But we also think we get to pick which hands and feet and eyes and ears we need. It doesn’t work that way.
Needing people is different than being needy. It means that we know who God is and who we are. It means that we prioritize His purposes above our own. It means we have a healthy respect for everyone; and we love them, sometimes, even when we’d rather say, “I don’t need you,” and walk away.