Is it possible for Christians to be “cannibals,” devouring other Christians?  Sounds gross, doesn’t it?  But we love each other, don’t we?  We have a mutual connection to God, don't we?; and “God is Love.”

“He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love” (1 John 4:8).

The vertical flow of love from God has a horizontal flow to our brothers and sisters in Christ.  So how can we not love when we are so loved ourselves?  How can we become spiritual cannibals?


When we hear of divisions in the body of Christ that are destroying relationships, even churches, we have to wonder:  What went wrong?  Where did the mutual love go?  It is inevitable that we imperfect human beings, Christian or not, will sometimes inflict pain on others, even those we love dearly.  That’s when the Love of God kicks in and sends us to our knees in repentance and to the one we injured with humility to ask for forgiveness.  Mutual love will accept the apology and compassion will bring restoration.  That’s the drill. 


Often misunderstandings are the cause, and a discussion in love will clear the air.  But what happens when the devil gets his way and causes resentment and un-forgiveness?  That is his job, and he knows and does it well.  He is a liar and he loves to propagate his lies, driving wedges between members of the family of God by applying his lies into the open wounds of the offended ones.   I recall reading something T. D. Jakes said, “Too often we have thrown away good people who did a bad thing.”  He went on to say that a relationship takes a powerful bond to withstand the pressure and not be weakened by outside forces.  If our mutual bonds were as secure as the Lord’s bond to us, our relationships would withstand the pressure.

" A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger" (Proverbs 15:1).


Paul addressed this issue to the Galatian church.  There was division between those who taught that the new converts needed to be circumcised and those who knew that Jesus had completed all that was necessary to fulfill the law; it was His blood that would be their salvation, not the ritual of circumcision.  Paul warned them that this diversion from the Gospel of Christ would be detrimental to their relationships.  It was a teaching from the dissenters’ opinion, not from the “one who called them” (Galatians 5:8).  Enforcing circumcision would put then in bondage, nullifying the freedom they enjoyed in Christ.

To call attention to the danger of their bickering, he said it would lead to “spiritual cannibalism” (my interpretation).

“But if ye bite and devour one another, take heed that ye be not consumed one of another” (Galatians 5:15).

“Consume=use up, destroy” (Strong’s concordance): "=eat, waste, squander" (Webster).  The end result of “biting and devouring” would be their consumption.  The picture that comes to my mind is the computer game “Pac man.”  I don’t remember how the game was played but I recall seeing him gobbling up other characters in his path.


Someone aptly put it this way:  “He who throws dirt, looses ground.”  When we allow Satan to fight our battles, he takes no hostages.  There will be a total consuming, destruction to the “biters and devourers.”

“A wrathful man stirreth up strife:  but he that is slow to anger appeaseth strife” (Proverbs 15:18).

Make no mistake; strife does not come from God!  Confusion does not come from God!  Then from where?  From the devil himself.  His purpose is to turn Christians against one another for the purpose of destruction, consumption.  How can we avoid being consumers of one another?  The answer is so simple that we might overlook it while seeking to justify our own feelings and actions.  It is uncomplicated and has the backing of the Lord of our Salvation.

“For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself” (Galatians 5:14).

How much do we love ourselves?

John said it much stronger.

“If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen?” (1 John 4:20). 

I have to wonder:  Some day when we stand before the embodiment of Love—Jesus Christ, our Savior, how important will the events be that caused us to be at odds with one another?  How important will it seem then that we got our way, that we were so determined to make others see our way was better, that we were not reconciled in humility, deferring to one another and just allowing love to guide our relationships?  Will we stand before the eyes of Love that look into our very soul and be ashamed of our stubbornness?  of spiritual cannibalism?

"And now, little children, abide in him; that, when he shall appear, we may have confidence, and not be ashamed before him at his coming" (1 John 2:28).


If every disagreement in the church of God here on earth were measured by “How important will this be in eternity?”  I feel sure that we would have more cooperation, more compassionate service, more agreement, more efforts to work things out peacefully than divisions.  God’s love could be perfected in us if we would weigh all our actions on the scales of eternity. 

“No man hath seen God at any time.  If we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and his love is perfected in us” (1 John 4:12)

"And above all these things, put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness" (Colossians 3:14).

Let us start now.  It will be too late to make amends when Jesus comes.  If we keep the “scales of eternity” well oiled with Love applied by the Holy Ghost and place every adversity on it to determine its value and importance, we will no doubt have a large garbage heap of discarded personal ideas, opinions and disagreements that we deemed not worthy of being pursued.  Not worth the danger of becoming “spiritual cannibals.”


“Follow peace with all men and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord:  Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled” (Hebrews 12:14, 15).

"Let brotherly [sisterly] love continue" (Hebrews 13:1). !!

Midi:  Break Bread Together






@  There's Good News March 2009



Hit Counter