Fights and Quarrels
James 4:1-2a (NIV)
What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don’t they come from your desires that battle within you? You desire but do not have, so you kill. You covet but you cannot get what you want, so you quarrel and fight.
Do you get into a lot of arguments? Are fights and quarrels a daily event in your home? James cuts right to the chase with today’s verses: when we don’t get what we want, we fight over it.
The great theologian John Calvin once said, “The human heart is an idol factory,” and I believe our #1 best seller is the idol of self. Truth be told, far too many of our decisions are based on self-interest rather than the interest of others. We don’t like finishing second or third… we don’t like going to the back of the line… we don’t like our preferences trumped by the preferences of another, be it a spouse, a child, a sibling, a friend, or a co-worker. These daily conflicts leave us with only two alternatives: pursue peace via Romans 12:18 or embrace conflict via James 4:1-2a.
The struggle to deny yourself, take up your cross, and follow Jesus is a daily struggle, if not hourly. We spend way too much time and effort trying to fulfill ourselves rather than working to fulfill the cause that Christ calls us to. When we focus on self, the result is bondage, fights and quarrels. When we focus on Christ, the result is freedom, peace and Kingdom building. Which will you choose, today?
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