"But if you bite and devour one another, take heed that you are not consumed by one another" (Gal. 5:15, MEV).
In nature, there are only a few species that eat their own kind. This phenomenon is considered an anomaly.
In the world of humans, those who engage in this practice are considered cannibals; this is an abomination. Yet there is another species that has a tendency to devour their own kind: Christians!
Paul warns the church in Galatians 5:15, "If you bite and devour one another, take heed that you be not consumed one of another." The word devour comes from the Greek word katesthiō, which means: to eat up, or to consume by eating. The Judaizers were engaging in spiritual cannibalism.
Many saints today are guilty of the same thing. Every time you gossip, "backbite," criticize or slander a brother or sister in Christ, you are "devouring" them. Yes, they may be in one piece physically, but their reputation and esteem have been cannibalized.
Because God prohibits consuming human blood or flesh, there is a severe recompense for engaging in this abominable behavior. Many cannibals have been found to be extremely sick, or to have very short lifespans. The same is true of spiritual cannibalism. When we devour our own kind through slander and gossip, we become sick and shorten the life spans of our own destiny.
Sometimes, this cannibalism is subtle. Have you ever talked with someone who "cast a shadow" over another person with their words. When you mention the name of the individual, they make a face or express disdain for the person non-verbally.
This is the same as speaking evil of another. Remember, if they will talk about someone else to your face, they will talk to someone else about you behind your back!
Don't be a spiritual cannibal! Don't judge and gossip about your brothers or sisters in Christ. Bless and curse not! Do good to them that despitefully use you and persecute you. Remember, you are what you eat!
As the days grow darker and darker, the church must unite and walk in love like never before. The spirit of slander and offense have been proliferating in the body of Christ, but it is time for us to make a change. It is time for the church to resist the temptation to throw our brothers and sisters under the bus.
It is time to stop devouring one another and walk in forgiveness and compassion toward each other. I believe that Christ is returning to a glorious, loving bride, not a church of wolves and cannibals.
Kynan Bridges is the senior pastor of Grace & Peace Global Fellowship in Tampa, Florida, where he lives with his wife, Gloria, and their three children. He is the best-selling author of Possessing Your Healing and the author of the upcoming book The Power of Prophetic Prayer.
Draw closer to God. Experience the presence of the Holy Spirit every month as you read Charisma magazine. Sign up now to get Charisma for as low as $1 per issue.
Get to know the Holy Spirit and how to interact with Him on a daily basis. Learn to enter God's presence and hear His voice clearly for yourself! Go deeper in your faith with Life in the Spirit and change your life and destiny. Are you ready to start your journey?