1 Corinthians 12:22-23 “Nay, much more those members of the body, which seem to be more feeble, are necessary: And those members of the body, which we think to be less honourable, upon these we bestow more abundant honour; and our uncomely parts have more abundant comeliness.”
Oh, how fickle we humans can be! And oh, how far we’ve come!
We are now paying a baseball player for the ability to hit a ball $430 million… We are a sports-crazed society and reveals our warped priorities.
We bestow those with gifts and talents honor, position, and fame. We put a microphone in front of them and want to know what they think; what they believe, and what is their position on a particular matter. It is one man or one woman’s opinion – nothing more.
Put that in contrast to what God’s Word tells us:
“…our uncomely parts have more abundant comeliness.”
Uncomely. It is not a word we use regularly. It means:
1. Not comely; wanting grace; as an uncomely person; uncomely dress; uncomely manners.
2. Unseemly; unbecoming; unsuitable.
Not something someone would want to aspire to be. It is that person we pass by and seem to look past them. We try not to meet their eyes for fear of the awkward conversation that would follow. It’s that one that has socially unacceptable quirks. Unfiltered talk. Awkwardly distinguishing marks. A high-pitched, nasally voice.
I truly believe God places that one in our midst to see how we will treat them.
James tells us how we should treat them when they enter our church:
James 2:2-4 “For if there come unto your assembly a man with a gold ring, in goodly apparel, and there come in also a poor man in vile raiment; And ye have respect to him that weareth the gay clothing, and say unto him, Sit thou here in a good place; and say to the poor, Stand thou there, or sit here under my footstool: Are ye not then partial in yourselves, and are become judges of evil thoughts?”
Even Jesus addressed this:
Matthew 25:34-40 “Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me. Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink? When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee? Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee? And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.”
Who we honor and what we accept is very telling.
Some have rebuked a person for entering their church for the clothing they wear instead of rejoicing that they fought the battle to get there and won! So very often, we do not know what it took for that one just to make it to church – and then we suggest that they aren’t appropriately dressed?
Let us minister to the heart, and the outward will follow.
What we may not understand as well, is that God has brought that one because the gifts and talents they possess will help the church to grow and be edified. God forbid we shun the very ones that God places in our midst to make us whole; to exercise His grace, mercy, and love; and be humbled to entertain angels unawares.
Next time you are challenged with the appearance, or attitude of another, seek first what God would have you do. It may very well be an opportunity to treat Jesus. It may also be that you are encouraging the next pastor, missionary, or evangelist.
We may never know this side of Heaven, but we do know that how we treat people matters in the eyes of our Heavenly Father.