April 09, 2013

Bite, Devour, Destroy

Galatians 5:13-15

If you bite and devour each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other.
—Galatians 5:15


Did your father or mother ever yell from the front seat, “Stop fighting! Don’t make me pull this car over!” It’s an attempt to interrupt a situation that is getting out of control—and maybe even dangerous, if the driver is distracted.

Like a frustrated parent, Paul was not at all happy about how things were going in the Galatian church. Paul saw how destructive the situation had become and how the people were hurting one another. You can hear the frustration in his voice as he warns them that their behavior is on a dangerous path.

I wonder what Paul would say to our churches today. Would he see love and care for one another? Or would he see petty arguments and bitterness toward one another?

How much grace do we show to our neighbor? Does biting and devouring characterize our relationships? If so, Paul wants us to realize that is a very dangerous path.

Earlier in this chapter Paul says that what really matters is “faith expressing itself through love” (Galatians 5:6). It all comes back to the action of loving each other, even those we disagree with. We need to stop destroying through biting and devouring. We need to express our faith through loving one another. This is the pathway that really matters!

Lord, teach us how to put your love into action. Give us a spirit of love and compassion that drives away bitterness and envy. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

About the author — Steven and Deb Koster

Steven and Deb Koster have a passion for marriages, families, and spiritual growth in the home. Both are ordained ministers in the Christian Reformed Church in North America. Steven formerly served as editor of Today and director of ReFrame's English-language outreach. Deb leads Family Fire, ReFrame’s family ministry at FamilyFire.com and on Facebook. The Kosters have three children.

Start your day with quick daily devotions.

See God's love, power, presence, and purpose in your life every day!