Please Don't Let Go, We Need You
It was a red flag day in Panama City Beach, FL. Despite the warnings, a group of swimmers waded out into the water, and it was not long before they were swept away in a riptide.
As they walked along the beach, a couple realized what was happening, so they quickly called people together to get involved in the rescue.
In only a few moments, about 40 people linked arms and formed a human chain that stretched out 70 yards from shore. Despite the danger the rescue posed to themselves, the heroic volunteers risked their lives and safely pulled all seven swimmers back to shore.
That's an incredible story, but let's rerun the scenario and interject a few "what if's" into the equation.
What if one of the 40 rescuers had decided to let go?
Had they done so, not only would the endangered swimmers have been lost to the riptide, but many of the rescuers would have as well.
For the rescue to be successful, every person mattered. The feet on the shore were just as important as the last set of hands extended toward the swimmers. Though individuals, every person had to see something in the rescue effort that was bigger than themselves and work together as one.
A We Not Me Mentality
The Bible encourages this kind of "we, not me" mentality in the Church. Each person matters as a part of a bigger whole. Romans 12 describes it like this:
For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned. For as in one body we have many members, and the members do not all have the same function, so we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another.Romans 12:3-5
The Church is a body of believers involved in a rescue effort. Please don't let go!
We need the gift of faith that God has given you. The Biblical text says that God has given to each member a measure of faith. We may be at different places in spiritual maturity, but the faith of every member matters. Don't let go!
We need the purpose to which God has called you. Like a human body, the Church is made up of members with various functions. We are individuals, but we are interdependent. A person may have strong arms, but he will not go far with broken legs. Please don't let go!
We need the gift(s) God has given you. In Romans 6:6-8 Paul shares a list of several spiritual gifts. He communicates it in a way that emphasizes a focused humility. Here's an example.
"If service, in our serving; the one who teaches, in his teaching."
I would summarize it like this. I need you to do you. You need me to do me. God didn't call me to do what you do. I need you!
Imagine in the beach rescue scenario if once they had rescued 3 of the seven stranded swimmers that someone in deep water had called out to those in the shallow water, "Hey, we don't need you!"
NO WAY that happens because NO WAY works! What the people were doing in the shallow water was just as important as what the people were doing in the deep water.
Don't let go! If we are going to rescue people with the gospel, we need you!
Bible Study and Challenge
Read Romans 12:3-8.
- List the commands that God desires for you to obey.
- What does this passage teach about the nature of the church?
- How does this passage call for you to pray for and appreciate others in your church?
Use the spiritual gifts discovery tool from Lifeway to help you realize and use your spiritual gift(s).
Read chapter 1 of The Walk.