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“But if you bite and devour one another, watch out that you are not consumed by one another.” Galatians 5:15

Nothing grieves the Lord more than how his people treat one another, specifically, when his people slander one another, or mistreat each other, or gossip toward those whom have done nothing wrong. Yet more and more it seems, I continue to see a trend among the body where groups of people (Christians) not only bite one another, but routinely devour one another, all for the sake of self righteousness. This cannot be. This can be readily seen in the recent deaths of those servants who have died in the faith.

When Jan Crouch, co-founder of TBN passed away, the news sent shock waves throughout the body of Christ, saddened by the loss of one of their own, many were words of comfort to the family of Paul and Jan Crouch, yet something else began to spread, and that something was pure hatred. For at the moment that news spread of Jan Crouch’s death, the internet, in social media avenues such as Facebook and Twitter, were filled with vile and venomous hatred at the passing of someone who had been faithful to the calling God had instilled upon her and her husband to spread the gospel across the world. A spirit of maliciousness had reared its ugly head, and once again it was clear to all that the body of Christ is more fractured today than it ever was.

Yet this is the current spiritual state of the modern church of believers today, where we bite and devour anyone who is different than us, has a different calling than us, or has been used by God more than us. No longer do we offer a kind word to another servant, but criticism, envy, jealousy and resentment shape and form our words when we speak of someone within the church. Even when we might disagree on spiritual matters such as doctrine or methods, there is no genuine sign of love toward our brother or sister in Christ, and even in death, nothing comes more to this truth than the current slate of comments and statements over the death of a servant than one who, as flawed a vessel as they might be, is subject to such scorn. Yet it’s not just the dead in Christ who see such animosity, but the living as well.

It seems to some that if one does not abide by their particular idea of how ministry should be conducted, the immediate response is public ridicule and scorn. Yet we see this more and more by many who declare that what another believer is doing is not in line with their theology, and thus, is open to public rebuke, or worse, questions their salvation altogether. Think this is limited to our time and day now? Think again. Jesus had to deal with this even in his day.

In Luke chapter 9, we see something occur that Jesus had to quickly deal with and stop, the seeds of jealousy beginning to be planted in the hearts of several of his own disciples. An argument had begun within the group of 12 over who would be greatest among them, they had taken to heart (wrongly) the notion that they would reign and rule with Christ in heaven. They did not understand at that particular time what Jesus was referring to, as his kingdom was a kingdom of all men and women who would rule and reign with the Lord. Yet these same men who walked with the Lord, ate with the Lord, heard the words of Jesus, these same men called to be his disciples, began to position themselves as to who would be the greater of them and over them. No doubt this caused feelings of animosity and hurt among the twelve, as many were vying for power. Jesus would have none of it. This is why the Lord quickly saw what was going on within their hearts and minds, and began to teach them that the kingdom of God must be understood in the concept of the mind of a child. Humility, love and innocence were the attributes of a follower of Christ, not political maneuvering.

Still, this would not be the last Jesus would have to once again deal with bickering and backbiting (devouring) among his faithful 12. (Matthew 20:21) Yet 2,000 years later, the church is more divided, more resentful, more envious of others than ever before, and how we treat one another is exactly how we will be judged when we stand before God. Understand, it’s one thing to challenge false doctrines and/or those who might teach error, it’s quite another thing altogether to cast away those whom are in Christ for the sake of conformity. Yet more and more, many are biting and devouring others simply out of spite, jealousy and/or greed, and even to be right. This is wrong.

Paul outlined in 1 Corinthians 13 the characteristics of the fruit of the spirit, which is LOVE. “Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have no charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.” (verse 1) If we have no love for one another, then can we truly say we belong to him who loves us? The word says otherwise. The word makes it clear that if we do not love our brother or sister, then we are not his at all, for how can we love God and follow Christ if we do not show that same love toward our own? Biting and devouring others might make our flesh and ego full and content, but it by no means is a type of fruit of the spirit, but in reality, it is a sign one has strayed from the cross. If we cannot love one another, following in the steps of Christ, then we cannot love the sinner who needs Christ. For if we are not capable of loving those who are his, how can we love those who are without him? We can’t.

I remind us all of the words of Paul in this matter of love, “Charity suffers long, and is kind; charity envies not; Love vaunts not itself, is not puffed up. Does not behave itself unseemly, seeks not her own, is not easily provoked, thinks no evil. Rejoices not in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; Bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails: but whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part. But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away.” (verses 4-10)

 

Let us begin to love one another, not bite and devour one another, for then by this doing, shall the world know in whom we belong.

 

From my desk in China,

Christopher

christopher152@gmail.com

Comments
  1. Anonymous says:

    she was nothing more than a harlot and a Jezebel

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