One of the questions we often ask when reading Scripture is “how does this apply?” We’re usually thinking in terms of what the Word means for our lives, what promises it holds, and how it might comfort or exhort us.
Scripture can also warn us about our own nature.
Do you know Acts 20:29-30?
“Savage wolves will come in among you and will not spare the flock. Even from your own number men will arise and distort the truth in order to draw away disciples after them.”
We read this verse and think of mega-preachers, church fads, and wacky sects leading people away from God. In saying this, Paul wasn’t just warning the church against outsiders, but fellow believers –and that includes you.
As saved sinners, we are prone to acting like animals, like wolves, even towards our brothers and sisters in the body of Christ. We might feel like lambs, believing ourselves to be innocent and well-intentioned, but that can be a disguise from both ourselves and others.
Do you ever act like a wolf?
Do you feed on others?
Wolves are driven by their appetite –what they find satisfying and appealing. They bite and devour to get their fill, much like we’re warned against in Galatians 5:15:
“If you bite and devour each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other.”
Rather than being concerned with bearing fruit in the Lord, wolves in the church care more about being “fed.” They’ll gladly tear up the flesh to satisfy their yearnings as if the Lord’s work of transforming lives isn’t enough.
When we act like wolves we put our desires above a love for others and make our personal goals –often at great cost to others in the body- our only hope for satisfaction.
Do you expect to be the leader of the pack?
Sheep live in flocks. They trust and obey their shepherd. Their shepherd provides what they need to be satisfied. Wolves, on the other hand, are pack animals. They compete for dominance and seek to be the leader.
Characterized as sneaky, wolves may seem humble and calm, but they are puffed up and ultimately use aggression to get their own ways and serve their own interests.
We, by acting like wolves, fulfill what is warned against in Colossians 2 as Paul describes those who like to take charge, condemn others, as well as set up rules in order to build themselves up. Paul reasons: “they have lost connection with the head.” Colossians 2:19
By our nature, we’re much more like wolves than like lambs. Be on guard, check your heart. There are days and seasons when we lose sight of whom we serve and, like wolves, begin to serve instead our appetites.