“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God…Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, let us prophesy in proportion to our faith; or ministry, let us use it in our ministering; he who teaches, in teaching; he who exhorts, in exhortation; he who gives, with liberality; he who leads, with diligence; he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness” (Romans 12:1-2, 6-8).
No part of your physical body is identical to another part. Your ear and your eye are different. Your liver and your heart are far from identical. Each part has its own strengths and limitations.
The same is true about the body of Christ. The renewed mind a Christian priest is to pursue necessitates sober thinking. But this is not all. There is a clear difference between recognizing your unique abilities and being determined to use your uniqueness to be a blessing to others.
As Paul discusses the differing gifts found within the body of Christ, he recognizes two basic contrasts.
Verbal vs. non-verbal service. Some may have talents in the area of serving through public teaching and exhortation. Others have talents and inclinations which are best employed serving others in a more private setting. Both are essential to the healthy functioning of Christ’s body, the church.
Public vs. private ministry. An effective leader is one who seeks to be a public example and then bids others to follow it. A person who effectively shows mercy to others usually does his/her work best when there is privacy. Without diligent leaders, God’s sheep flounder. Without cheerful workers of mercy, God’s people suffer and hurt in loneliness. Both are essential to the healthy functioning of Christ’s body, the church.
Like your body, Christ’s church has parts which are obvious and visible and parts which are subtle and hidden. The mind of an acceptable living sacrifice recognizes the essentiality of each body part and seeks to do what he is uniquely capable of doing.