This is from Scotty Smith, Founding Pastor of Christ Community Church in Franklin, TN:
A Prayer About Christian Cannibalism
You, my brothers, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the sinful nature; rather, serve one another in love. The entire law is summed up in a single command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” If you keep on biting and devouring each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other. Galatians 5:13-15
Dear Lord Jesus, I praise you that the call to freedom in the gospel is much more like a subpoena than a mere invitation. Hallelujah… freedom is not optional or an add-on. We were dead in our sins and trespasses when you spoke the life-giving words, “Come forth” to our dead spirits.
I was just as bound in grave clothes as Lazarus was when you brought me to life and liberty through the gospel. How I praise you for the sovereign, death-defeating, liberty-giving power of the gospel. Jesus, those you set free are free indeed!
The freedom to which you’ve subpoenaed us is to define the rest of our lives. This is nowhere more necessary than in the world of our relationships. We are to love one another as you love us, Jesus. It’s such a blatant and ugly contradiction of the gospel when we fall into “Christian cannibalism”—biting and devouring one another. Worse, it’s a sabotaging of your glory and beauty. It’s lying about who you are to the world. Forgive us… forgive me….
This very day… free me from my pettiness and petulance. Show me where I’m holding onto unforgiveness just to gain advantage in a relationship. Show me where I’m rehearsing the sins of others more than I’m rehearsing my own forgiveness in the gospel. Help me know when overlooking the failures of others wouldn’t be cowardice, but courage. Help me learn how to conflict redemptively, rather than destructively, when overlooking is not an option.
Lord Jesus, you have forgiven me from your heart. May this good news be the billboard that is ever before the eyes of my heart, as I live out my freedom in a world of broken people and broken relationships. So very Amen, I pray, in your glorious and grace-full name.