Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

What Causes Fights and Quarrels?

James 4:1

What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don’t they come from your desires that battle within you?

profileAs I was growing up – my sister – brother – and I had some nice quarrels.  One of the places we had occasional quarrels was with the TV and what to watch.  In those days we only had one TV and we would quarrel (I hesitate to say fight but mom and dad probably would have called it that) – over what to watch.  I can’t really remember what wanted to watch – but more than once I remember hearing either settle it or we’ll turn the TV off from mom or dad. Looking back on it today I know that the quarrels came from our own selfishness.  We wanted to watch what we wanted to watch.  We wanted control.  We wanted what we wanted and we didn’t want to compromise or felt like we had compromised enough and it was time to get our way!  Can you identify?

Think about the fights/quarrels you have had with your spouse (if married).  I know the few times Carolyn and I have had quarrels – most often it has been because one of us (normally me) was being selfish and wanting our way.  I think James had it right when he described what fights and quarrels have their root.  Let’s read a little of James 4 and see today’s passage in partial context.  James 4:1-4 – 1 What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don’t they come from your desires that battle within you? 2 You want something but don’t get it. You kill and covet, but you cannot have what you want. 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, don’t you know that friendship with the world is hatred toward God? Anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God.

We not only argue over what we have and want – James says we would get more if we asked God correctly with a right heart.  In other words – our attitude is not right and so we don’t get what we ask God for – most times.

So what causes fights and quarrels in the church (yes they happen)?  Why are there power struggles in committee meetings?  Why do people try to get their way by pointing out what they do for the church?  Why are there folks that seem to always be negative – no matter what has happens?  Why do people give – at times generously – only to spoil that gift with an attitude of wanting to get their way because of their gift?  I bet we know already – don’t we?  It is because – quite often – we want what we want and don’t want to compromise.  I had a woman threaten me and her church with withholding her giving if I didn’t change a pastoral standard to suit her wishes.  A person who volunteered to cut the grass at the church once laid their keys on the table of a meeting trying to make a point and get their way.  What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don’t they come from your desires that battle within you?

Sunday we used this Scriptures and it fits here today as well.  Matthew 10:37-39 – 37 “Anyone who loves his father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves his son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me; 38 and anyone who does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me. 39 Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.

Like we said Sunday – we need to stop thinking of ourselves so much and start thinking of others.  Thinking of others will decrease the number of fights and quarrels – if we only think of others more than ourselves – if we deny self and follow Christ.

Just something to think about today as you go on your way.  More tomorrow!

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September 24, 2013 - Posted by | Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Personal, Theology | , , , , , ,

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