The human body is really an amazing thing, if you think about it.

I thought about it a lot today. Why, do you ask?

Well, because I woke up this morning and was in so much pain I could hardly move. My lower back kind of had me debilitated for the better part of the day.

And as I was laying on my floor, heating my back and trying to stretch it out, I started to think about how amazing it was that I could put the force on my arms that I usually put on my lower back to bend and get stuff and still function. It was horribly inefficient, but I could still get the job done.

Then I started thinking about the church.

As Christians, we are all part of the body of Christ (Romans 12:4-5, 1 Corinthians 12:12). We serve different functions (1 Corinthians 12:14ff), but we’re all important and necessary.

So what happens when one part of the body hurts? The whole body hurts with it. Today, it wasn’t just my lower back that was suffering. The whole rest of me felt the pain of it too. That pain has spread and affected other areas also. So it is in the church. When one member is hurting, that hurt is felt by those around. Empathy, sympathy, and working to heal the hurting one. This is the acceptable form of pain in the church–when we feel the pain of others because they are hurting.

But what happens when a part of the body straight up just doesn’t pull its own weight? What if there is no legitimate reason for that part to be out of commission, but it just…is? I mean, the rest of my body could have gotten really ticked off at my back for not doing what it’s supposed to do, hypothetically. I was amazed at how my body could compensate for my back, for a while. It still hurt, and every time I tried to do something I knew something in my body wasn’t right, but I could manage to get the necessities done. But it wasn’t quite right, and eventually started hurting in other places as I tried to keep doing stuff with a non-participating member.

Isn’t that how it is in the church? When someone in the church doesn’t pull his weight, doesn’t do what God put him in the church to do, the rest of the church can compensate–for a little while. And when the church tries to function but vital pieces are missing, it might get the absolute necessities done, but it’s so much less efficient than how it was designed to work…and I don’t think it can last very long that way. God gives people abilities to be used in His kingdom for His purposes and His glory.

If I don’t use what God has given me everywhere I go, I’m hurting the body. I’m slacking off. I’m making some poor arms support the body as it bends instead of being the strong lower back to hold it all together.

What about you? Are you making others pick up the slack for you, or are you doing your part in the body of Christ?

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