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. James 4:1-3
What causes quarrels and what causes fights among you? Have you ever sat and pondered that question? When you are in the middle of conflict with someone, have you ever paused to wonder what in the world is causing this? Take time to read the book of James today. James asks the same thing and then he goes on to give the answer. It isn’t pretty. It’s ugly. What in the world causes these conflicts? The things of the world. The desires of the flesh. Many times, when there is strife, it is tempting to look at people as being the cause. If they would respond differently there would not be a problem. James will not allow this. After speaking about how a harvest of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace, he talks about the exact opposite. Those who sow discord by those who make trouble. This comes from unrighteous passions. James is not saying that passions are wrong. He is saying that passions which do not have the glory of God as the goal are wrong. Asking to have your earthly, selfish, jealous desires filled is asking wrongly since they are pursuing your glory as opposed to God’s. Remember that he will not share his glory (Isaiah 48:11). James is speaking about control and who will have it. If you seek to get all you think you need in your own efforts and striving instead of asking God and trusting in his provision and timing, you will be disappointed and will cause strife. Are you in conflict with someone right now? Can you see what it is that is at the root of that conflict?