“For the body does not consist of one member but of many. If the foot should say, ‘Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,’ that would not make it any less a part of the body. And if the ear should say, ‘Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,’ that would not make it any less a part of the body.” 1 Cor. 12:14-16 (ESV)
When we come to faith in Christ, we join the membership of the Body of Christ.
We are no longer autonomous individuals striving to find their way in the world. But after living a life in which autonomy is celebrated, we will be tempted to maintain that autonomy and grow in our walk with Christ without joining others.
If you attempt to grow spiritually without joining others…you will fail.
Failure is certain because the Lord designed us in such a way that spiritual growth occurs as we interact with other followers of Jesus.
We are not designed to grow spiritually as individuals.
It is possible to grow in knowledge of doctrine by reading and studying the Scripture.
It is possible to memorize vast portions of Scripture as an individual.
It is not possible to grow into spiritual maturity as an individual.
To grow spiritually, you must find and join other followers of Jesus.
This is inconvenient and time consuming…especially as a busy medical student or resident.
But failure to take this important step results in spiritual stagnation.
If you are not currently part of a spiritual community, seek one based on God’s leading…not one on your own personal needs.
Don’t be surprised if He leads you to a diverse community that is very different from you.
We learn more from those who are different than us than from those who are similar to us.
Using Paul’s illustration…a healthy body is not made up solely of eyes.
The exciting part is that as you enter into this community, you will benefit spiritually from the interactions, but you will also make a contribution to their spiritual growth.
God places you into that community for multiple reasons…your spiritual growth as well as theirs.
And once in community…enjoy the gifts that come with fellowship!
Prayer: Lord help me find and celebrate the community of believers You desire for me.