...Continued from I'm a Tooth (Click the link for the rabbit trail I got on when I first started this post:))
So, for about the past month I've been looking at what the Scriptures have to say about my identity. My identity in Christ is something I have learned about over the years, but I haven't dwelt on it in a way to transform how I think about myself. I started in Ephesians and moved to the Corinthians, looking specifically for terms of identity: "you are, we are, etc." I still have some more transformational meditating to do, but one thing I was struck by in each book was the theme of The Body of Christ and the unity God calls for among His people.
The parts of the body and Spiritual Gifts are other themes I've learned about over the years. There have been "tests" I've taken to "identify spiritual gifts," but I never took much time to ponder what part of the body I might be or what part of the body that spiritual gift correlates to. Knowing that the parts of the body is an analogy, I haven't felt the need to seriously discern it. But for whatever reason, one morning this week in my time with the LORD, the idea of a tooth came to mind. It seems to fit.
A gift the LORD's entrusted to me, a role God's grown me into and opened doors for is one of "teacher." So, my role in the body? A messenger of the Word...and what part of the body relates to words, messages? The mouth. But, no, I'm not that significant. The tongue. But, no, I have not been refined enough to be a teacher with a fresh water tongue (James 3). Teeth. Yes. Not the important biters, nor the necessary molars, but maybe an incisor? A tooth - a piece of the mouth. A mouthpiece of God. Helping others hear the Word of God. Helping other bite into and chew on the sweetness of the Word of God.
Psalms 119:103 - "How sweet are your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth!"
And teeth also play a protection role - keeping out that which should not coming in and even keeping in what you don't want to come out (impure/untrue words!?!) And without some teeth, one may speak with a lisp. May God's Word not be misheard.
I was reminded of the image of teeth in Song of Songs:
"Your teeth are like a flock of sheep just shorn, coming up from the washing. Each has its twin; not one of them is alone." (4:2)
The image of clean - white sheep after washing...may my mouthpiece be clean and pure (fresh water - James 3:10-12).
The image of fullness - each tooth with a twin, none missing, none alone...God delights in the beauty of the fullness, the way He designed that part of the body.
So, if each tooth is delighted in by God, I am significant as the incisor I am. Surely, the body can do without a tooth, but God doesn't want The Body to be without even a tooth. He wants the beauty of the fullness, not one without another.
And if even an "unnecessary" tooth is wanted, what an good reminder of The Gospel - that each part may be worthless on its own, but when part of The Body it is desired, delighted in, important, significant; our identity in The Body of Christ grants us to be desired, delighted in, important, significant to the Creator who made us and loves us through the Savior who suffered and died for us!
Ephesians 4:16 -"from whom [the head, Christ] the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love."
May my role as a tooth, a mouthpiece, a teacher work properly so The Body is built up in love!