“What causes quarrels and what causes fights among you?” — James 4:1
The language of sin and evil are all but lost in our world today. Our culture is uncomfortable with those words.
We are quick to rationalize sin with spin to suit our needs, and the results are on the news almost every night. The question James asked is still being asked today, “What is the source of the fights and conflicts among us?”
Why do people riot in the streets? Why do husbands beat up their wives? Why do friends treat each other so badly? Why do we tend to hurt those we love the most?
James has a lot to say to our world in 2020. He answers his good question in the next verse saying, “Is it not this, that your passions are at war within you? You desire and do not have.”
You see, when Adam and Eve sinned in the Garden of Eden, they were cut off from the life of God. From that point forward they began to seek to satisfy their own desires. They also got some new desires they had no use for when God fulfilled all their needs and longings. Now they had the desire to be somebody. Along with sin came pride and ego!! They also desired to have security, and they desired to be loved as they once had. In short, they entered a struggle to find what they had lost, and that struggle continues today.
Sadly, many search for answers where they cannot be found. And so, our inability to be satisfied leads to frustration and hostility.
James writes, “and so you murder…you covet and you cannot obtain, so you quarrel and fight.”
Frustrated by our inability to create the life we desire, we become willing to hurt and destroy in an effort to meet our self-centred needs. So, what is the solution?
Verse 6 gives us the answer, “But He [God] gives more grace.”
You see, in Christ, God has done something for us that we cannot do for ourselves. For those whose faith is in Jesus Christ, He has erased the debt that we inherited from our first parents through His atoning death on the cross, thus giving us a righteous standing before God. In Christ, God is ready and willing to take control of our lives, meet our needs, and grant the repentant sinner abundant life now, and eternal life in Heaven. In other words, everything that was lost when sin entered the world. In Christ our independence turns to dependence on Him, the love and forgiveness He has given us is extended to others and our bitter hearts receive the grace to stop hurting those we love. To Him be the honour and glory forever…amen