For almost three decades, Alexander Strauch has consistently produced books that are biblically faithful and carefully written. In step with that pattern is his newest, If You Bite & Devour One Another: Biblical Principles for Handling Conflict. My first appreciation for Strauch’s newest work is the emphasis upon examining our hearts concerning the attitudes that so often produce conflict among believers. The publisher claims this is “the only book of its kind, examining all the biblical passages on conflict and outlining key scriptural principles for handling various kinds of conflicts among Christian–whether personal disputes, issues of Christian liberty in lifestyles, congregational matters, or disagreements about important doctrines.” I will say more about this resource in the days and weeks ahead as the Lord uses it to counsel my own heart and to equip me to better equip you to counsel one another.

The first chapter, Act in the Spirit, includes the following chart comparing the works of the flesh found listed in Galatians 5 to those sins mentioned by Paul in 2 Corinthians 12, which warranted severe chastisement from the apostle. When these attitudes and actions are present in our lives then it is evidence we are walking according to the flesh, rather than being Spirit-controlled.

WORKS OF THE FLESH

Enmity                               Quarreling
Strife                                  Jealousy
Jealousy                             Anger
Fits of Anger                      Hostility
Rivalries                             Slander
Dissensions                       Gossip
Divisions                            Conceit
Envy                                   Disorder
(Gal 5:19-21)                    (2 Cor 12:20)

“Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. The one who does not love does not know God, for God is love” (1 Jn 4:7-8).

Related Post: Resolve Conflict ASAP

[Originally posted July 3, 2012]

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