. . . so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. –Romans 12:5
Dependence is a scorned idea in our individualistic society. One is to go his own way, blaze his own path, fight for his rights, and so on. Sure, we’ll get a group of celebrities together every decade or so to sway and sing “We Are the World” while holding hands, but truly we know it is a sham as we compete for jobs and spouses and the corner lot.
What gets fostered in us, from our early youth onward, is to be without need. Weakness is a deplorable thing—maybe the most deplorable in our society—so we strive to show we can pay our own way and we scoff at those who cannot.
But then a verse like this pops up and informs us that we believers are all part of the same body, and hence, all reliant on one another. That is an oft neglected byproduct of Christ’s death and resurrection—He binds those who believe in Him to Himself, and, in doing so, makes us all members of the same body.
My problem with this is that of most people who pay their mortgages and generally keep their collective ducks in a row—it is hard to admit my need. It is a difficult thing, indeed, to be vulnerable enough to admit that I’m simply not enough in and of myself.
But that is what the Bible calls followers of Christ to. We are to be wholly dependent on Him, and often He chooses to meet our needs—spiritual, physical, and emotional—through other followers of Christ. And likewise we are to be looking out for those whose needs we can meet. Working properly, it is a cross-network of humble service continually being given and received amongst the Body of Christ.
I am not my own, but rather a part of something much bigger than myself. My charge is to give myself to it in whatever ways I can, and freely receive that which it can offer me.