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Belly Buttons In The Body of Christ

Ever heard of Kevin Kopsa? Me neither, except that somewhere along the way I scooped up a quote from him. It has been in my files for years, and so far as I know this is the first time I have ever printed or used it. Kopsa said, "There are no belly buttons (good only for gathering lint) in the body of Christ."  I don't know about you, but that sentence grabs me by the ears! What does a "belly button" do? The right answer is, nothing, except gather lint! It just sits there, taking up space on the body!

Are there belly buttons in the body of Christ? That body is the church over which Christ is head and of which every Christian is a member (see 1 Corinthians 12:12ff; Romans 12:3ff; Ephesians 1:22-23; Colossians 1:18, 24)? One of the conclusions drawn from a careful study of these "body" passages is that every Christian has a role to play in the body — and in no place will you ever read that any member's role is to just take up space and collect dust! Kopsa's
aforementioned statement brings to mind a startling passage about the church from the pen of the apostle Paul in Ephesians 4:12-16 — for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the the fullness of Christ; that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with
every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head; Christ; from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love." Even after many years of studying the Bible, I admit I am still trying to come to grips with everything said in these verses. What does it mean to grow and mature until we come to a perfect man in Christ? What would the church look and be like if every member of the body was full grown and filled with the fulness of Christ? How would that affect attendance, giving, involvement, relationships and personal evangelism? What if all Members of the church functioned more like an actual bodya warm-blooded, life-throbbing, diversity-filled organism where every member was joined and knit together with every other part, and where each member did its share even as it depended upon the rest of the body to sustain and help it stay alive? A body where, when one part suffers or feels good, the other parts do, too (1 Corinthians 12:2527)? Before we close, zoom in on Paul's words, "the effective working by which every part does its share." In an adult human body there are trillions of cells and hundreds of bones and muscles and body members. If the body is healthy each of them does its share. In the body of Christ, a member who takes but does not give back is not a normal and healthy member. Belly buttons in the body of Christ? They can't be found in Scripture, even if they are often found in the pews. The question is not are you doing what you can't. The question is are you doing what you can — are you doing your share? Well, are you?

Dan Gulley
Smithville church of Christ