Cannibalism - the very thought's disgusting and sends a shiver down our spines! But closet-cannibals are everywhere!
You might be surprised to discover some of your best friends and acquaintances are guilty of this grotesque charge. You've probably practiced cannibalism too - more often than you'd care to admit.
The apostle Paul warned about Christian cannibalism: "But if you bite and devour one another, beware lest you be consumed by one another" (Galatians 5:15). Are you still stewing over some disagreement? Is an interpersonal problem "eating you alive?" Are you "fed up" with being misunderstood? Have you ever been "chewed out?" Or maybe you wanted to "chew him up and spit him out?" What about "cutting remarks?" Wouldn't you like to tear into certain people and give them a "piece of your mind?" Don't they deserve to be "cut down to size?" Who hasn't made sarcastic comments (Greek - sarkazein, to tear flesh)? We've all been "in hot water!" I think you get the point.
As members of the Royal Family of God, there's no time to waste in squabbling among ourselves. We're not to engage in destructive family feuds or sibling rivalry. Don't torment the Body of Christ! Mental cruelty has got to go! No matter how serious or justified our reasons are for being at odds with someone, they're petty compared to our crucifixion of Christ who commands us, through Paul, to be at one: "Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering; bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you MUST also do" (Colossians 3:12-13).
The next time you're "out for blood" because you're angry and upset, you'd do well to remember the only "flesh and blood" we're offered - during our course of conversion - is that of Jesus Christ! He grossed out quite a few of His followers when He shared that tidbit of information with them. They couldn't stomach it. Jesus' claim to be the Bread of Life, the Manna from Heaven, was a little hard to swallow. But He meant that we're to feast upon His life-giving words. The scriptures are to sustain us, daily, in this wilderness adventure (John 6:41-69).
You are what you eat. We're to grow more Christ-like and less contentious: "endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace... till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect (mature) man, (measuring up to) the stature of the fullness of Christ..."(Ephesians 4:2,3,13).
We're to stop picking on one another, pull together as Christian brethren, and resist Satan's attempts to pull us apart. It's the old ploy of divide and conquer. He's revealed as the one who works up this ungodly appetite: "Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil (NOT the brethren!) walks around like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour" (1 Peter 5:8).
Instead of falling prey to our enemy - going at each other's throats - let's make sure we're consumed with our zeal for God's Work (John 2:17).
There's some kosher food for thought!
About the Author
David Ben-Ariel, an American author who has travelled widely and who has lived throughout Israel, shares a special focus on the Middle East and great interest in Jerusalem, reflected in hard-hitting articles that help others improve their understanding of that troubled region. Check out www.benariel.com