Are we living up to God’s plan for His body? What is His plan for His body? Are we all heart? Are we all head?
I believe a spider web exemplifies the body of Christ. A spider web is both beautiful and useful, but also very complex. The spider’s silk has the unique ability to become softer or stiffer depending on the stress the web receives. It is not stagnant but active. God so designed the spider’s web that when one strand breaks, the strength of the entire web actually increases.
God desires the same for His church. There are times when a situation requires softness and the “web” needs to reach out and actively demonstrate that attribute. In contrast, sometimes the body needs to show stiffness and resolve, so rushing to the rescue might not be the best answer.
People who are hurting need to have the unmitigated freedom to express their pain, confusion, uncertainty, or despair without feeling judged or that they are asking you to solve the problem. Sometimes they just need to talk.
Other times they may need stiffness in order to learn to stand on their own with God. Suppose He preferred to minister directly to that person?
Unfortunately, I usually struggle initially when the Lord asks me to allow part of His web to be broken for a season. I have discovered though, that the Lord is more than able to fill in the seemingly missing component when I step out of the way.
This does not mean that the rest of the “web” stands by with a complacent attitude. Just like the spider web, when one part is damaged the rest of the “web” needs to strengthen to compensate. Strengthening the “web” could be by prayer, fasting, an encouraging phone call, a meal or whatever the Lord puts on your heart. It may not always require well intentioned advice.
Over the years I have had the privilege to be the recipient of mercy and resolve from the body of Christ. Softness and stiffness …both are equally necessary in the body just as in the web. As members of His body we need to allow the Lord either option.