Listen for the Parts

Today's guest blogger is Emily Duffey. While Emily has moved on to other employment, her desire for biblical counseling remains strong! She will continue to guest post here from time to time. 

“Listen for the parts—you’re not in this alone!”

I’m in a choir at our local seminary. The director stated this comment today during rehearsal. While we all can sing and contribute individually, it isn’t about hearing the individual members in a choir—it is a cohesive, unified sound that comes together as one. Regardless of how beautiful a voice you have individually, to go off on your own and sing the way YOU desire will ruin the desired end result. When you are more concerned with your contribution over the integrity and sound of the group as a whole, you no longer are adding to the choir. A lot of work is put into matching vowel sounds, pitch, dynamics, matching constantans, entrances and cut off points… the second you abandon the direction of the choir director for your own preference, you have compromised the integrity of the piece and your actions reflect on the choir as a whole. While there is no “I” in team, you can rearrange the letters and come up with “me.” When you abandon your part of the group to seek out “me” in the midst of “team” you have compromised the whole.

This brought a passage to mind—1 Corinthians 12:
20 But now there are many members, but one body. 21 And the eye cannot say to the hand, "I have no need of you"; or again the head to the feet, "I have no need of you." 22 On the contrary, it is much truer that the members of the body which seem to be weaker are necessary; 23 and those members of the body which we deem less honorable, on these we bestow more abundant honor, and our less presentable members become much more presentable, 24 whereas our more presentable members have no need of it. But God has so composed the body, giving more abundant honor to that member which lacked, 25 so that there may be no division in the body, but that the members may have the same care for one another. 26 And if one member suffers, all the members suffer with it; if one member is honored, all the members rejoice with it. 27 Now you are Christ's body, and individually members of it. [1Cr 12:20-27 NASB]

As individual members of the body of Christ we are called to use our talents and gifts for the good of the body as a whole. Are you blessed with a voice? Sing. Are you a gifted teacher? Seek to teach. Are you good working with your hands and fixing things? Volunteer to help take care of the church building. We are all uniquely gifted by the Lord for our own part to make up the body. However, once the individual members begin to value their own role as more important than another, you have violated the passage of Scripture quoted above. Your individual talents or abilities do not take precedence over the group. On the same hand, it is wrong to selfishly keep your talents and abilities to yourself. So where’s the balance?

“Listen for the parts—you’re not in this alone!” Be sensitive to the needs around you—and once you’ve done your part, step back to help another shine. Do your part to add to the cohesiveness of the group, not cause yourself to stand apart and seek your own glory.