Over time we all come across ideas that change the way we think about ourselves and one another. For me, one of those thoughts is closely connected with 12 Step programs and the Church that we’ve been thinking about together in my last couple of posts. It’s also one of those perspectives that I think help me to see all of life through one of the most basic insights of the Bible.
A well lived life is more like a symphony than a solo.
The point takes nothing away from a solo. I love hearing Willie Nelson sing “September Song,” or LeAnn Rimes do her version of “Blue.” A single voice performance even makes its own life lesson: Every life is like a center-stage solo in the eyes of our Creator. One person at a time, we are all being judged on our own act (Romans 14:7-12).
But its also important to see the way the Bible brings together ideas and people to do things together that could never be done alone. Look at the way, for instance, that:
The Bible orchestrates principles and ideas.
Just as 12 Step programs bring together a set of principles that, when combined with one another, can result in a real change of life, think about the way the Bible links together ideas which together have far more power than they do individually:
1. The Ten Commandments combine to define important moral and spiritual boundaries (Exodus 20:1-17).
2. The 9 “fruit of the spirit” blend to show what it looks like to live “under the influence” of Christ (Galatians 5:22-23).
3. The 7 attitudes taught by Christ in his famous “beatitudes” are all essential to being his kind of peacemaker (Matthew 5:1-10).
4. What the Apostle Peter learned about 7 steps of spiritual growth work together to produce a changed life (2 Peter 1:5-7).
5. Paul’s description of 7 pieces of spiritual armor show us why it’s dangerous to think that being “half-dressed” in Christ would protects us from spiritual attack and failure (Ephesians 6:10-18).
Orchestrating principles then is one thing the Bible does to show us that life is more symphony than solo. But another thing it does is to give us a vision for people living more effectively together than by ourselves. In that sense,
The Bible orchestrates people who need each other.
The apostle Paul used the word picture of the body to make this point when he wrote, “For as the body is one and has many members, but all the members of that one body, being many, are one body, so also is Christ… For in fact the body is not one member but many… If the whole body were an eye, where would be the hearing? If the whole were hearing, where would be the smelling? But now God has set the members, each one of them, in the body just as He pleased… And the eye cannot say to the hand, “I have no need of you”; nor again the head to the feet, “I have no need of you” (1Cor 12:12-21).