This is an underlying question that is in the back of my mind constantly. As a husband, parent, and human being, I am constantly confronted with situations that make me think about this.
Well, today during a meeting with the staff at Christ Fellowship this was shared and it reminded me of it’s origin.
The Bible speaks very clearly about it in the book of James chapter 4. It starts with a question. “1a. What causes fights and quarrels among you?” in other words what makes you fight or have conflict with others. This can be your spouse, children co-worker, neighbor family member etc.. (stop and think for a few seconds and fill in the blank). But it immediately answers that question, 1b “Don’t they come from your desires that battle within you? What does that mean? Basically what it says. Our desires, wants, things that we wish with passion cause that. It comes from those desires that are battling inside your head, your heart. Those unfulfilled or fulfilled desires that take over our mind, our time, our everything and displaces everything to the side, including the person in front of us that we might love and care for, or a stranger and even more importantly… God.
The next verses should be read slowly and with attention as it will probably speak to you in some way.
2 You desire but do not have, so you kill. You covet but you cannot get what you want, so you quarrel and fight. You do not have because you do not ask God.
3 When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.
4 You adulterous people,[a] don’t you know that friendship with the world means enmity against God? Therefore, anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God.
5 Or do you think Scripture says without reason that he jealously longs for the spirit he has caused to dwell in us[b]?
Then the problem is with me, (put your name there). Yeah sure, others are the problem too, but it starts and ends with me. If we are honest to ourselves we probably will see an image of what might have happened to ourselves a few hours ago, maybe a few days or months ago when I said or did something that later I may regret. I can remember too many times when this has happened.
But how can I stop this vicious cycle? Thankfully God gives us not only the answer of why it happens, but also how to avoid it.
6 But he gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says: “God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.”
This speaks about humility. God favors those who are humble, in a few words those who do not rely in their position, wealth, knowledge, strenght etc… but someone who sees others as important too. Not self centered. Sounds good in theory but how can we do that? The answer follows.
7 Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. 8 Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. 9 Grieve, mourn and wail. Change your laughter to mourning and your joy to gloom. 10 Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.
In a few words it speaks of a dependency on God, not our own strength or reasoning. It speaks of going to God and see Him as your Father, as your provider and trusting that in His time and purpose he will lift you up.
If we walk in the light of this biblical truth we will see a transformation in our lives and those around us.