The War Within

The War Within

Read Judges 12:1-7

The men of Ephraim were called to arms, and they crossed to Zaphon and said to Jephthah, “Why did you cross over to fight against the Ammonites and did not call us to go with you? We will burn your house over you with fire.” And Jephthah said to them, “I and my people had a great dispute with the Ammonites, and when I called you, you did not save me from their hand. And when I saw that you would not save me, I took my life in my hand and crossed over against the Ammonites, and the Lord gave them into my hand. Why then have you come up to me this day to fight against me?” Then Jephthah gathered all the men of Gilead and fought with Ephraim. And the men of Gilead struck Ephraim, because they said, “You are fugitives of Ephraim, you Gileadites, in the midst of Ephraim and Manasseh.”

When Jepthath won against the Ammonites, the men of Ephraim asked why they were not called to fight. Trying to be diplomatic at first, Jepthath explained but then changes the mood when he decided to fight and struck down the men of Ephraim. Jepthath dealt with his race more cruelly than the others who are not his own. He treated God’s people far worse than the people to whom he was not related to.

We see this happen all the time. I remember having a discussion with my wife how we can be so easily annoyed with our family members and be more patient with people outside our family when we know that our family members are more valuable than the others. It’s the same way with the body of Christ in general. We sometimes treat our brothers and sisters in the Lord far worse than the general population.

As one moderating a group on manhood on Facebook, I have the distinct role in putting out fires from men who are considered “brothers” in the faith who are harsh, critical and judgmental. It is sad that all the people I have blocked from the community professed their undying faith and loyalty to Christ yet failed to exemplify it within the community.

Talk it over:

  1. Why are we prone to judge our fellow Christians more quickly?
  2. What are some judgments I use with my fellow brothers and sisters in the faith?
  3. What are your practices at home? Are you more loving and friendly to people outside your family? What can you do to change that?
  4. Are there people that I need to forgive or ask forgiveness to for the way I treated them?

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