Remember that saying, Small people talk about people; average people talk about events; but great people talk about ideas?
I woke up very early a couple of days ago with these words in my mind and spirit: “You bite and devour one another.” I got up and began to study Galatians 5. Verses 13-15 say: For you, brethren, have been called to liberty; only do not use liberty as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” But if you bite and devour one another, beware lest you be consumed by one another!
While studying Galatians 5, I have been meditating on the fruit of the Spirit—love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Being a newbie in forum writing, I will first ask myself: Does the fruit of the Spirit show in my posts on the forum? Is the fruit of the Spirit apparent in the writings of others? Do we understand that contention is as much flesh as immorality?
The clincher is verse 26. NAS says: Let us not become boastful, challenging one another, envying one another. AMP says: Let us not become vainglorious and self-conceited, competitive and challenging and provoking and irritating to one another, envying and being jealous of one another. This is New Testament Scripture, so it applies to all of us who are Christians.
We simply must learn to love one another without compromising truth, and bring correction when there is blatant error. It is discouraging and disheartening to hear the things some people say that are so argumentative and hateful toward the “family.” Such biting and devouring is so un-Christlike.
Most of us have a lot more to learn about walking in the Spirit so as not to fulfill the “attitudes” (lusts) of the flesh. And we also have a lot to learn yet about walking in the Spirit so as not to gloss over and be complacent about sin in the name of love. There is no way we can walk in the balance of the two without the help of the Holy Spirit.
“Lord, please send more leaders who are seasoned in the Word, full of godly wisdom, and who will maintain truth and the integrity of the Word, as well as personal integrity. Let them lead Your body as You have ordained—in Spirit and in Truth! In Jesus’ name, amen!”
2 Timothy 4 AMP
1I CHARGE [you] in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, Who is to judge the living and the dead, and by (in the light of) His coming and His kingdom:
2Herald and preach the Word! Keep your sense of urgency [stand by, be at hand and ready], whether the opportunity seems to be favorable or unfavorable. [Whether it is convenient or inconvenient, whether it is welcome or unwelcome, you as preacher of the Word are to show people in what way their lives are wrong.] And convince them, rebuking and correcting, warning and urging and encouraging them, being unflagging and inexhaustible in patience and teaching.
3For the time is coming when [people] will not tolerate (endure) sound and wholesome instruction, but, having ears itching [for something pleasing and gratifying], they will gather to themselves one teacher after another to a considerable number, chosen to satisfy their own liking and to foster the errors they hold …
1 Timothy 5:20: As for those who are guilty and persist in sin, rebuke and admonish them in the presence of all, so that the rest may be warned and stand in wholesome awe and fear.
Titus 1:13: And this account of them is [really] true. Because it is [true], rebuke them sharply [deal sternly, even severely with them], so that they may be sound in the faith and free from error,
Titus 2:15: Tell [them all] these things. Urge (advise, encourage, warn) and rebuke with full authority. Let no one despise or disregard or think little of you [conduct yourself and your teaching so as to command respect]