If You Bite & Devour One Another – By Alexander Strauch

And excerpt from a really great book:

Control the Tongue

Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up…And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God. Ephesians 4:29-30

Conflict ignites fiery passions within the human soul. It can make the head throb, the blood boil, and the adrenaline rush. What is worse, conflict can turn the mouth into a weapon of mass destruction. Our words can become the primary weapon with which we “bit and devour one another” and damage relationships in the family of God. So no matter what the conflict, words matter and they matter a lot.

I am convinced that most conflicts could be resolved with minimal damage to individual people and to the church if we brought our anger and our tongue1 under the Holy Spirit’s control. In fact, handling conflict biblically requires that we control our anger and our tongue. The unholy war of words that is part of many disputes between God’s people stands in opposition to the clear teaching of Scripture:

Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for the building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. (Eph. 4:29-30)

The Holy Spirit is sensitive to anything that damages or divides the people of God whom he has unified in Christ as one body and “sealed for the day of redemption.”2 Therefore, the Spirit care deeply about how we speak to one another in the body of Christ. The possibility of grieving the Holy Spirit of God by what we say ought to be strong motivation for us to Carefully choose our words and how we speak them.

Our success in controlling our anger and speech is a clear measure of our desire to walk by the Spirit and to manage conflict in a Christlike manner. (Gal. 5:16)

Get your copy of If You Bite & Devour One Another here.

One thought on “If You Bite & Devour One Another – By Alexander Strauch

  1. I believe this is why in the law given by God to Moses concerning the clean and unclean animals, the only clean four footed animals were the ones lacking the upper incisors and canine teeth, such as the deer, antelope, goat, sheep and cattle families. Horses, camels, rabbits and hares are all grass eaters, and have been and still are used as food by the people in the Middle East, Asia, South America (llamas and alpacas are relatives of the camel) and Australia but having the upper front teeth, they bite in fighting each other and thus were ‘unclean’ for the children of Israel.


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