Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it,” (1 Corinthians 12:27).

kidney-cartoon-657522Kidneys don’t get a lot of love these days. Seriously, when was the last time you heard someone say to another person, “Dude, your kidneys look fantastic, have you been working out?” “Are you using a new conditioner, because your kidneys are very full bodied today?” “Girl! Your kidneys look great in those new pants!”

No, those sort of compliments are reserved for the visibly seen body parts like hair, legs, muscles, eyes, and skin. Heck, even toes get better treatment than kidneys. You can pay someone to rub, file, and massage those little puppies. The fact is that it is easier to notice and praise our visible body parts because, well, they’re noticeable. You can see what they do. They draw attention to themselves, whether intentionally or unintentionally. It’s easy to highlight the outward parts of our bodies, and why not? God made those parts of our body. Why not enjoy what he has made? If you’re a man and God gave you beautiful Jesus hair, then flaunt it. If you’re a woman and God gave you a beautiful smile, then wear it proudly. The human body is a glorious thing, which is why great artists like Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo depicted the human body in classical works of art. (Donatello and Raphael were too busy fighting the Shredder to contribute).

cartoon-turtlesThe outward parts of the human body get more attention than our kidneys. It’s the same way with the body of Christ. Those with noticeable and captivating spiritual gifts and talents get more attention. It’s understandable. A charismatic preacher or evangelist who is on the stage week in and week out is bound to get more attention than the guy greeting folks at the door. The worship leader who can play 52 instruments, (I hate you), or the woman who can write great books, (I’m jealous), is naturally praised more than the folks who clean the church. I’m not harping on these folks. God wires us all differently. He gives each of us talents and gifts and wants each of us to use those gifts faithfully in our own way.

All I want to do is give some praise to the kidneys of the Christian body. They are those unsung and unseen heroes who faithfully do their job in the background. They are hidden, yet their impact for the gospel and their steadfast obedience is of great value in the eyes of God. Just like our kidneys to our physical bodies, these men and women are of crucial importance to the function of the body of Christ.

I’m thankful to have known a lot of kidneys in my day. I know a man who has lived in a loveless and thankless marriage for over 15 years, but he is faithful to his God to love his wife, day in and day out. I know men and women in a Sunday school class who may not possess great oratory skills, but they steadfastly serve and walk with Christ in their jobs, their friendships, and their day to day lives. Each day they quietly bring salt and light into their world. I know a guy who has served in the kids’ ministry at the church for years. He can’t play the drums or sing, but each week he’s planting little seeds of grace and truth in the hearts of those kids at church. I have worked with folks in grief ministries at church. Like janitors who clean the buildings each night, they quietly and tenderly love, heal, and bind up the brokenhearted of the body. (Okay, so janitors are not necessarily tender; just go with it).

kidneys

These are just a few examples. The point is, for every Jesus haired man, there is a kidney, (technically two kidneys, see the picture on the left). Faithful servants at home, (looking at you moms), in the office, or in the church are just as important as the phenomenal preacher, marvelous musician, or witty writer, (see what I did there?) Maybe you’re a kidney in Christ’s body. That’s okay. Be the best darn kidney you can be. Maybe, on this side of heaven, you won’t get “clothes” just to highlight your kidneyness. Don’t worry, God is watching. Maybe other people are not noticing you in the shadows. It’s all good. You are faithfully serving the body and it cannot function without you. We need all the body parts of Christ in order to be healthy and glorify God. I love the kidneys in Christ I have known and they have had a far greater impact on my life than those Christians who can play 24 different instruments, (I’m still jealous).

P.S. It could be worse. At least you’re not the colon of the body of Christ, am I right?

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Thank God for the Kidneys

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