When your Christian journey is complete and your ministry on earth comes to a close, what will you leave in regards to your relationships? Will you have spent more time building up or tearing down? Edifying or demonizing? Encouraging or discouraging?
God’s Word warns us repeatedly about devouring each other, but it’s too easy to fall into this trap. We often mask our slander as “concern” or “standing for the faith” but in the presence of Jesus, those flimsy rationalizations will be vaporized, and our true hearts will be revealed.
In that moment will my pride, insecurity, envy, jealousy, and arrogance be more abundant than my love, encouragement, and celebration of others? Will all the fingers I pointed at others be pointed back at me, exposing hypocrisy, comparison, and arrogance? To say it simply, will my time on earth have been dominated by devouring or by developing others?
Am I building, encouraging, and blessing others? Or am I devouring?
This thought brought to mind the picture of a piranha—a regular fish that rabidly devours. The more I understand piranhas, the more I DON’T want to be one. What can we learn from a regular fish that is bent on destruction?
Let’s take a look…
True Facts about Piranhas
1. They are just regular little fish that happen to have sharp teeth.
“There is that speaketh like the piercings of a sword: but the tongue of the wise is health.”—Proverbs 12:18
“Death and life are in the power of the tongue…”—Proverbs 18:21
2. They love to devour raw meat.
“But if ye bite and devour one another, take heed that ye be not consumed one of another.”—Galatians 5:15
3. They school together, not to cooperate for strength, but in fear and insecurity.
“But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren.”—Luke 22:32
4. They attack more frequently when food is scarce and water levels are low.
“For I have no man likeminded, who will naturally care for your state. For all seek their own, not the things which are Jesus Christ’s.”—Philippians 2:20–21
5. They often attack animals they perceive to be physically larger.
“For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith.”—Romans 12:3
“Let us not be desirous of vain glory, provoking one another, envying one another.”—Galatians 5:26
6. They cannibalize other piranhas that are caught or hooked.
“Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted.”—Galatians 6:1
7. They attack their weak and often wound each other for dominance.
“For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men? For while one saith, I am of Paul; and another, I am of Apollos; are ye not carnal?”—1 Corinthians 3:3–4
8. Their legend is larger than their reality.
“But of these who seemed to be somewhat, (whatsoever they were, it maketh no matter to me: God accepteth no man’s person:) for they who seemed to be somewhat in conference added nothing to me:”—Galatians 2:6
Summary: It is wise advice to not swim with piranhas. It’s even wiser not to become one. It’s wise to recognize we’re all just little fish in a very large ocean of lost souls and needy hearts. It’s really silly to devour each other when in reality we need each other. In an increasingly darker world, Christians cannot afford to devour themselves. When others choose to bite and devour, as piranhas, choose to swim away rather than be drawn into the fray.