What causes fights and quarrels among you? (James 4:1a) That is a great question; and discovering the answer will take us a long way toward to solving a lot of the relational strain and conflict in life… not just with one another, but with God! So where does conflict start? Conflicts stem from an obsession with self. Don’t they come from your desires that battle within you? James 4:1b. When you are concerned most about yourself, you will always be in conflict with others.
James challenges us again and again to obey the Royal Law… that is Jesus’ command to “love your neighbor as yourself.” (Matthew 22:37-38). When we love one another as much as we love ourselves, we are well on our way toward avoiding conflict in life. James goes on to help us recognize the conflict that exists between us and God. The truth is, until we acknowledge our failures and flaws - the Bible calls them sin - and accept God’s grace through Jesus Christ, we are in conflict with Him. So how do we solve that conflict? Accept and experience God’s amazing grace! (James 4:5-6)
I love the way James lays out a clear plan, with action steps to experience God’s grace:
1) Submit to God. James 4:7a.
2) Stand against the devil. James 4:7b.
3) Pursue intimacy with God. James 4:8.
4) Make a clean start! James 4:8b.
5) Get a new heart! James 4:8c
6) Grieve your brokenness! James 4:9
7) Humble yourself and be lifted up! 10 Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up. James 4:10.
This last command summarizes all the others. When we humble ourselves, that is to “make ourselves low”, the promise is that God will lift us up! If you want to take care of conflict that exists in life with others, then humble yourself, love others as much as you love yourself. If you want to take care of the conflict that exists between you and God, then humble yourself, admit your need for a Savior, accept the amazing grace God offers in Jesus Christ, and invite Him to be your Lord! For much more, listen to FaithWorks Part 9 - Getting Along.