Are there people in your life that you just don’t get along with? Whenever you’re with them, an argument breaks out? Did you ever stop to think that it might not be totally their fault? At least that’s what James tells us in his book.
What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don’t they come from your desires that battle within you?
James actually says that wars and fights start within us. They’re caused by our own desires that are not lined up with the will of God. When our flesh wants something, that’s when the trouble starts.
I would say that most of our trouble with others is caused by something that we desire. As I pastored over the years, I’ve counselled many people who were in conflict with others. They always thought they were in the right. And they’re reasoning always sounded the same.
“I expect to be treated like…”
“I expect them to…”
“Why don’t they just…”
In your quarrels with others, you can fill in the blanks for your particular situation. All of those statements revolve around unmet expectations. Expectation is simply another word for desire. It’s your unmet desires that start the problems.
Quarrels and fights are all about us not getting what we want. James goes on talking about it.
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.
Our trouble is that we put our expectations in people. No matter how good that person is, they’ll let you down at some point. That’s because we’re all human. Any expectation – desire – you place on someone else, will eventually hurt you.
That’s why the only real expectations we should have must be towards God. He’s the only one who won’t let you down.
But wait a minute; it doesn’t end there. I’ve heard many people complain that God doesn’t give them what they want.
When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.
The problem might have something to do with your motives. It’s all about your pleasure. What if your pleasure is not God’s will for you in this situation?
Throughout the book of James, so far, he’s been talking about hearing from God. We spend time in the Lord’s presence to hear a Word from Him. A Word that cleans us. A Word that gives us the wisdom of Heaven.
Do you even know if what you’re asking for is God’s will for you? If it is God’s will, do you know that this is the right timing for it? That’s what spending time with the Holy Spirit is all about. He changes us in His presence so that we desire what He desires. He also gives us His peace so that we accept His timetable.
That’s the basis of a stress free, and quarrel free, life.
Question: What are some blessings that you’ve received from the Lord?
© Nick Zaccardi 2017