Galatians 5:15. “But if ye bite and devour one another, take heed that ye be not consumed one of another.”
My little granddaughter has some chickens. Her daddy built a coop for them, and she’s responsible to feed and water, and to collect the eggs. She loves her chickens. Sadly, one of them sickened and died a while back, so last week she got two more. And now, she’s learning something new about her treasured pets.
Chickens are not kind.
They like their pecking order. The older two are making life difficult for the younger two. They’ve established the pecking order, and they intend to keep it. It’s going to take human intervention if the two new ones are going to get any food or water.
They could quite literally peck each other to death.
And we’re not much different, are we? The Bible says that the world will know we are Christians by the way we love one another (John 13:35). We’re not always doing a good job of loving one another, are we?
I don’t have to agree with your theology on every single point. We can even enjoy different kinds of music, or dress differently when we attend church. Loving you doesn’t mean I have to love everything you do. I don’t have to approve of your unbiblical lifestyle, but I don’t have to hate YOU! In fact, we may not be able to have much fellowship together over the Word because of our disagreements, but we don’t have to act like chickens who are establishing their pecking order and protecting their turf.
I may even need to point out your error, just as Paul confronted Peter publicly (Gal. 2:11-13). But I don’t have to hate you. We can speak the truth in love. We can let our speech be always with grace, seasoned with salt.
Otherwise, we may be guilty of eating each other up, just like a flock of brainless chickens.