We need to be very careful about defining status in the Body of Christ. Paul certainly encourages Timothy to see those involved in preaching and teaching in the church as being worthy of double honour, but are they to be seen as more important than other members of the Body?
On board an old-fashioned sailing ship, in uncertain seas, the sailor with the best eyesight was sent up the mast onto a look-out platform known as the crow’s nest. His job was to look beyond the horizon visible to those on the deck, and then to warn the captain of any hazards ahead, such as half-hidden rocks.
The captain, carrying the overall responsibility for the ship, then had to make the decision as to how to alter course. He certainly needed the wisdom of years of experience in coming to the right decision, and he fully deserved the respect of the crew. However, in the moment of crisis, with a reef threatening the ship, who is the most important member of the crew, the humble seaman who spotted the disturbed water around the rocks, or the captain who redirected the ship? Surely, they are equally important, each doing his very best with the gifting and experience that he has.
In the Body of Christ, we do well to honour those in leadership. But the safety of the Church is dependent on all the gifts distributed among the people by the Holy Spirit being duly acknowledged and acted upon by those called to give direction. Captains are helpless without a diligent crew.
Prayer: Father God, remind us not to belittle any of the gifts that You have given to each member of the Body of Christ. We know that it is only when each one is allowed to express their gifting that the Church will be able to fulfil its destiny in these days, which are more and more spiritually hazardous. Amen.
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