In our Bible study last night we were studying the end of Philippians, Chapter 1. Near the end of the chapter, in verse 27, Paul says "Whatever happens, conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ."
Our pastor, Dr. Marr, made the bold statement that given all of the various personalities, opinions and spiritual gifts given to believers in the church, by human standards the church simply should not work. God gives each believer certain spiritual gifts they can use to promote the Gospel. No gift is exactly the same since no two people are exactly the same. Yet all of those personalities and gifts combine into one group in the church. It shouldn't work - yet it does.
He explained with the following analogy.
Imagine you're in a cafeteria, carrying your tray along the serving line and getting the foods that you're going to eat. When your tray is full you move toward a table but you stumble and fall. The tray goes flying - as does your food, landing all over the floor.
The person who has received the gift of helpfulness will immediately go to the closet, get a broom and a mop and begin cleaning up the mess. The person with the gift of compassion will check to see if you're OK, tell you that it's OK - it could happen to anyone, and say "Let's get you up and get you another tray of food so you can eat."
The person with the gift of mercy will cry real tears for you. "I feel so badly for you. I'm so sorry this happened to you. It just breaks my heart to see you suffer so...."
The person with the gift of evangelism says "This is what happens when you don't have Jesus in your life!"
The person with the gift of logic and order looks at the situation and says "I can give you at least three reasons why this occurred and how to prevent it from happening again."
And the person with the gift of prophecy will say "We really need to get some rubber mats placed here to prevent people from slipping because we're going to get sued one of these days if we don't."
Dr. Marr was quite animated as he got into it and it was humorous as well as informative. He got some laughs but people were paying attention.
He finished up by saying that in the church, all these different personalities and gifts are brought together as one. By human nature they should not all get along. But their faith in Jesus Christ holds the church together. Certainly there are exceptions when people try to run things instead of letting Christ do it. Some churches fail for that reason. But Jesus is the glue that keeps the faithful together.
The analogy was spot-on. I can't think of anything to add.