Friday, July 22, 2011

Digging Deeper James 4:1-3 with Points to Ponder

James 4:1-3 What causes quarrels and what causes fights among you? Is it not this, that your passions are at war within you? You desire and do not have, so you murder. You covet and cannot obtain, so you fight and quarrel. You do not have, because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions. ESV

I like the Contemporary English Version: "Why do you fight and argue with each other? Isn't it because you are full of selfish desires that fight to control your body? You want something you don't have, and you will do anything to get it. You will even kill! But you still cannot get what you want, and you won't get it by fighting and arguing. You should pray for it. Yet even when you do pray, your prayers are not answered, because you pray just for selfish reasons."

Points to ponder.
Isn't the root of conflict two or more people that want different things? Each wants their own way and is willing to fight to get it. We may "fight" in different ways. We could yell and argue or complain and whine. We could ignore and give the silent treatment or cross our arms and say, "whatever". We could gossip and call names or harbor resentment and bitterness. On the highway when a car cuts us off, the conflict is within our own heart. We may "fight" by following him too closely or honking or any of those other things people do to communicate displeasure on the road.

Conflict is the result of the desires of two people's hearts butting heads. That in itself is revealing. When your ire is rising, stop and ask yourself "why does this upset me so much? What do I desire at this moment that I am not getting?"

Conflict reveals the heart. You want something you do not have and you want it, now! Is it sinful to want something? No, (unless it's biblically off limits for you). What makes the conflict sinful is not the desire but the attitudes and actions that result from those desires. Are you willing to sin in your heart or in your behavior to get what you want?

Conflict is very revealing if we take the time to look below the surface.


Diane Hunt is the Director of Addiction Recovery and Development at America's KESWICK. In addition to her Keswick responsibilities which keep her busy, she loves to read, write and teach, travel and laugh with her grandchildren. Diane has been married to her husband John over 26 years. She has 2 children, 3 grandchildren, 3 step-children, and 7 step-grandchildren.

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