“All About Me—the Big #1” series
Lesson 13: How to Deal with the Flesh Around Us
So far we have talked at length about dealing with the Flesh in our own lives, but the question comes as to how we are to deal with the Flesh around us or in someone else. Am I just to be a doormat and let people steal, cheat, lie and do every evil work? We must remember that the old way is to treat others as they treat you. If they steal, steal back; if they argue, argue back; if they lose their temper, lose your temper. In other words you dealt with the Flesh, with the Flesh.
The new way is to deal with the Flesh with a holy spirit (right spirit). The Bible says we are to speak the truth in love (Ephesians 4:15). Usually I speak the truth without love or else I don't speak the truth pretending I'm loving.
In the book of Acts, where thousands came to Christ and there was a great moving of the Spirit of God, there was tremendous honesty and tremendous love. The colder we get to the things of God, the less honesty and love there will be.
When we speak the truth in love, we are a witness for Christ. When we speak the truth without love, we are simply manifesting the Flesh (1 Corinthians 13) and our witness will be ineffective.
Dealing with the Flesh around us may require a second step, and that is, separation through discipline. We may need to separate ourselves from fleshly business partners, etc. We are not to be unequally yoked together (2 Corinthians 6:14), and this isn't just in terms of saved and unsaved, but in terms of carnality and spirituality. There are marriages that have been put together that are most difficult because spirituality has been linked to carnality and the natural man through wrong decisions. We need to be careful about our marriage and business connections in the first place, because they have far-reaching results. The important thing is that we operate in the Spirit and wait on the Lord so that He is able to make the crooked places straight.
This is the reason it is of utmost importance that children, prior to making some of the most important decisions in their lives, should be taught concerning the Flesh and Spirit. The enemy would like to get every youth walking in the Flesh at the time he chooses his life partner. In this way a snare can be brought upon them individually to trip them up. Praise God, there is always the grace of God that often overrules; but we should not presume upon it when making life-long decisions.