Dignity (1 Corinthians 12:22-27)

As a Professor of Medicine, I have had the privilege of reviewing hundreds of resumes, CV’s, letters of recommendation and personal statements from college students, medical students, and applicants for medical residency positions. All of them discuss their background and qualifications to care for their patients or their unselfish desire to practice medicine. There is a theme that permeates every application, but the word is rarely invoked-dignity.

Dignity is a word that can be defined by a dictionary and one definition is the right of a person to be valued, respected and treated ethically. Yet, there are many interpretations and all of us can cite noble examples of dignity. We use and personalize it, applying it to different situations we encounter in life. Protecting the liberties of the disenfranchised; exposing human trafficking; seeking to remove the barriers to social and racial equity. Every physician should desire to defend the dignity of the individual.

Dignity is derived from the Latin word dignitas, which means worthiness. God has provided a beautiful example of this worthiness, this dignity, through His sacred Word.

In fact, some parts of the body that seem weakest and least important are actually the most necessary. And the parts we regard as less honorable are those we clothe with the greatest care. So we carefully protect those parts that should not be seen, while the more honorable parts do not require this special care. So God has put the body together such that extra honor and care are given to those parts that have less dignity. This makes for harmony among the members, so that all the members care for each other. If one part suffers, all the parts suffer with it, and if one part is honored, all the parts are glad. All of you together are Christ’s body, and each of you is a part of it 

1 Corinthians 12:22-27(NLT)

The Church is the Body of Jesus Christ. God uplifts and honors all members of the Body, particularly the weaker members. Whether the weakness is spiritual, physical, or emotional, God defends the dignity of the individual and He commands all believers in Jesus Christ to do the same. 

Medicine is a noble profession but its nobility can only be fully realized when we follow the highest principles of dignity that God has demonstrated through faith and belief in Jesus Christ. 

Love and trust in the Lord; seek His will in your life.

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