Shaquille O’Neal has been an All-Star for most of his NBA career. However, as he enters his 20th season, he is expected to come off the bench for the Boston Celtics. Rather than sulk about his new role, Shaq is not complaining at all. He realizes that the first part of his career was all about him scoring and being the star of the team. Shaq says, “That part of my game is over now. It’s time for me to be a …good role player.”
You have to admire O’Neal’s willingness to take a lesser role and allow other players to be in the spotlight. It shows maturity on his part. He is willing to do whatever it takes to be the kind of team player that Boston needs in order to be a winning team.
The church at Corinth had too many members who wanted to be the star of the show. Others thought that they weren’t important because they weren’t as gifted as other members. Paul wrote to them about this issue. In 1 Cor.12:12 he says, “The body is a unit, though it is made up of many parts; and though all its parts are many, they form one body. So it is with Christ.”
He goes on to say that the parts of the body shouldn’t think that they are any more or less valuable than other parts; every part is needed. The body couldn’t function properly if every part did the same thing. So in the church, we have diversity, and at the same time, we have unity.
V.27 sums it up with these encouraging words—“Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it.”
Like Shaq, your role might change over the years. But you are designed to be an important part of your local church. We should all relish the role that God has prepared for us and joyfully offer our unique contributions to a winning team.