Aggression, bitterness, malice, and spite are words associated with hostility. As opposing worldviews continue to clash, there is a growing movement to silence certain beliefs, opinions, and social media sites. In recent weeks, democratic, liberal, and progressive leaders have compared their political opponents to terrorists and white supremacists. While newly elected president Joe Biden promised to unite this country by reaching out to those who didn’t vote for him, Biden’s executive orders reveal a different message. Before the United States becomes even further divided, it’s time to remove the hostility toward those who hold opposing views.
For those who are according to the flesh and are controlled by its unholy desires set their minds on and pursue those things which gratify the flesh, but those who are according to the Spirit and are controlled by the desires of the Spirit set their minds on and seek those things which gratify the [Holy] Spirit. 6 Now the mind of the flesh [which is sense and reason without the Holy Spirit] is death [death that [comprises all the miseries arising from sin, both here and hereafter]. But the mind of the [Holy] Spirit is life and [soul] peace [both now and forever], Romans 8:5-6.
In a first century letter to the Church at Rome, the apostle Paul refers to an internal hostility. Similar to his letter to Galatia in Galatians 5:16-25, Paul reveals the ongoing spiritual battle that exists today within every human being. As individuals begin to feed their internal desires for temporary pleasures, sinful minds become hostile toward God. If this lifestyle is justified or rationalized by those who indulge their flesh, this inward battle is freely expressed to the external world. Instead of listening to the conviction of consciences, carnal minds seek to eliminate God from the equation. If God is removed, individuals can do or say whatever they want.
[That is] because the mind of the flesh [with its carnal thoughts and purposes] is hostile to God, for it does not submit itself to God’s Law; indeed it cannot. So then those who are living the life of the flesh [catering to the appetites and impulses of their carnal nature] cannot please or satisfy God, or be acceptable to Him, Romans 8:7-8.
According to the apostle Paul, the only way to remove this hostility is by yielding control over to God. However, when minds become under the influence of addiction to a specific sin, hostility will reign. Thus, the sooner souls begin to take their thought lives captive, 2 Corinthians 10:3-6, spiritual strongholds can be addressed. Like a patient waiting on a transplant list, human minds need the influence of the Holy Spirit to be renewed. Without this spiritual infusion, human minds will struggle to let go of the hostility that exists today. Therefore if you want to be an advocate for change, exchange any hostile feelings with the power of God’s Spirit.
by Jay Mankus