Apr 02 8:03 AM

Why We Fight

Apr 02 8:03 AM
Apr 02 8:03 AM


Friday, April 2, 2021

James 4:1-3



Why is it that we fight? Why do we fight with other people, with neighbors, co-workers, or family? Why do you fight in your own house? Why do you fight in any type of human relationship? Can I give you the answer? The answer is simply this, you fight because you and the individual that you're fighting with have what I call competing desires. You have a desire that you want, they have a desire that they want. Your desires are different, and you're not able to find overlap. Therefore, you fight.

Where do I get that from? I get it from James 4:1-3. Not only is James going to tell us why we quarrel and fight, but he's going to tell us the solution as well. So let's dig right in. James says this, "What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don't they come from your desires that battle within you? 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. When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures."

James is saying that you want something so bad that you're willing to fight over it and kill over it. I don't know if it's literal murder, or slander, which would be killing people in their character. Either way, James says you want something so bad that you don't think about anything else but your desire. Your desires compete because you're only focused on your desire. And sometimes the other person just focuses on their desire. Now, sometimes one person can have a mutual desire, while another person can have a selfish desire, that certainly can happen. But at least one person is just focused on their own desire. If you're the in the fight it could be you, or it could be the other person. When you're focused on your own desire, it leads to death. You know, a male deer can be so focused on its desire for a female deer, a buck wanting a doe, if you will, it can get killed. When I drive home from work, every fall you always see dead deer. And that's because the deer was probably in heat. He was so laser focused on his desire to mate with a doe that he doesn't focus on anything else and gets killed. That's the same thing with desire.
And then James says this, which seems to be the solution to your competing desires with other people leading to conflict and quarrels and fighting. He says this, "When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures." He says basically, the problem is you just focused on what will please you. The Christian life is supposed to be focused on how we please God and how he please others. But I skipped over an important verse, which is the answer, the remedy. How do you remedy this problem? James says this, "You do not have because you do not ask God." You go, "Wait a minute, Vince. James says you fight and you quarrel because you have competing motives. Now you're going to ask God? That's going to change it?" Yes. If you ask God for what you desire, guess what happens? God will interact with you and change your desires. Psalm 37:4, "Delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart." When you ask God for what you desire, he will change your desire and your affections. Then you'll want not only what's good for you, that's understandable, but also what is good for God and what is good for others. When that happens, desiring what is good for God, for others, and for you, you're not going to be the source of quarrelling, fighting, and killing. So here's my ask. Check your desires. Next time you're in a fight, check your desires, your competing motives. Are you only doing it for you, or for the other person and for God?
Let's pray. Father in heaven, thank you so much for reminding us that quarrels and fights start with us examining our own internal desires. Is it just for us? Or is it for you, Lord, and for other people? Help us to balance that out. And when we're in a fight, help us to apologize if we focus on our own desires above the desires of you and others. I ask this in Jesus' name. Amen.