I Cor 12 describes how God comprised the body so that the members need each other. He gives an example of an eye and an ear, and a hand and a foot. The eye cannot say to the ear, “I have no need of you.” Let’s think about that a minute. Suppose, you were an eye. What would you care about loud and soft? About in tune and out of tune? And if two eyes were at a bar talking to each other about colors and geometry and the like and an ear walked in and sat down besides them, they might have a hard time finding some common ground to discuss. After a brief conversation, perhaps the ear would get offended and leave. Then the first eye would feel some remorse and express it to his optical friend. But the second would turn to the first and say,”Don’t feel bad. He doesn’t get it. He can’t relate to us. He knows nothing about hue and intensity and brightness. Don’t sweat it, we don’t need him.”
I wonder how often our gifts make us oblivious to what others offer us, or to what others offer to the body of Christ at large. (You might be able to argue that the eyes don’t need the ears, but the brain certainly needs both the eyes and ears. They are both important.)
Maybe we can grow in unity if we pay attention to our own words and listen to others and look for the ways in which we say, “I have no need of you.” For example, let’s think about congregational music. Suppose one person says, “I really like the hymns in the hymnal. They are tried and true. They have substantive content. They are well written. That new music is shallow. It’s simplistic. I’m sticking with the old hymns.” What does this communicate to those who are creatively gifted, and have abilities to compose music and lyrics? What may be inferred (rightly or wrongly) by the songwriter is “we have no need of you, we have all the songs the church needs, no need to write new ones.” So, the creative person leaves to go find someone who appreciates her talents, or, even worse, just gives up being creative and lives the rest of her life in mere existence, robbed of fulfillment, unable to exercise her gift. This was not the result intended by the hymn lover, but this is the type of thing that occurs when we do not judge the Body rightly.
Maybe you know other examples.