Simon the Sorcerer amazed crowds with his magic in Samaria during the time the church was being established. Acts 8 records how Philip came to Samaria, followed by the apostles, and that he was performing signs and wonders by the power of the Holy Spirit. The apostles then came to lay hands on the believers, so that they would receive the Holy Spirit. Acts 8:18-19 relates Simon’s reaction:
“Now when Simon saw that the Spirit was bestowed through the laying on of the apostles’ hands, he offered them money, saying, ‘Give this authority to me as well, so that everyone on whom I lay my hands may receive the Holy Spirit.’”
Simon made a terrible error in judgment by making this request. Thinking primarily of fame and fortune, Simon tried to buy the power of God with money. He was quickly rebuked and even he, himself, recognized his error almost immediately.
When we open our mouths without thinking, we get ourselves into a lot of trouble. Character weaknesses can be exposed by thoughtless statements made in unguarded moments. In James 3:4, James described the tongue and its powerful influence, saying:
“Look at the ships also, though they are so great and are driven by strong winds, are still directed by a very small rudder wherever the inclination of the pilot desires. So also the tongue is a small part of the body, and yet it boasts of great things.”
American culture loves to express their opinions loudly and without regard for their fellow man. Christians, let’s take a more thoughtful approach to the issues facing our nation. Rather than sharing fiery memes designed to inflame those who hold opposing opinions, let’s consider how to encourage each other and bring souls to God through every avenue open to us. Consider your words, guard your tongue, and be sure you aren’t biting your brethren.
“But if you bite and devour one another, take care that you are not consumed by one another.” – Galatians 5:15