Read. James 4:1-6
What is the source of conflict among you? What is the source of your disputes? Don’t they come from your cravings that are at war in your own lives? 2 You long for something you don’t have, so you commit murder. You are jealous for something you can’t get, so you struggle and fight. You don’t have because you don’t ask. 3 You ask and don’t have because you ask with evil intentions, to waste it on your own cravings.
4 You unfaithful people! Don’t you know that friendship with the world means hostility toward God? So whoever wants to be the world's friend becomes God's enemy. 5 Or do you suppose that scripture is meaningless? Doesn’t God long for our faithfulness in the life he has given to us? 6 But he gives us more grace. This is why it says, God stands against the proud, but favors the humble.
Reflect. James reflected on outward behaviors, but also on their inner sources long before Freud and the birth of modern psychiatry. He saw Romans, Jews and Samaritans fight each other, sometimes with weapons, but even more often with bitter words. He challenged his readers to look inward. Conflict, he said, was (and still is) often rooted not in the noble motives we try to claim for it, but in selfish wishes for more power or wealth than others have.
• When you find yourself harboring negative feelings about a political candidate, do you ever look inside yourself and ask, “What is there in me that this candidate threatens, annoys or frightens?” In what ways can James’ wisdom, encouraging us to recognize the inner sources of conflict, help us to relate in more Christ-like ways, in politics as well as other areas of life?
COMMUNITY PRAYER LIST
Doug Lawson. Collier. Glenn Ethridge. Adam Funderburk. Mary Reber. Linda Harmon. Betty Carolyn Ward. Albert Rasanke. Lois Robinson. Ross Henley. Tiny & Donald Creasman. Bill and Barbara Buchanan. Bonnie Brenner. Baker Family. Robert McKenzie Family. Kibler family. Carolyn Harlow. Jeff Green. Earl Graves. Mickey Huff. Huff & Welch families. Helen Leigh. Paul Huffman. Schools, Teachers, Staff, Parents, Students. Church regathering plans. Layman family. Charlene Withrow. Brandon Casteel. Dirk Orr family. Smith family. Crowder family. Lillard family. Family of Floyd Eaton. Family of Eddie Rynes. Robertson Family. Harmon Family. Nancy Ryan & family. Bobby Roberts. Elizabeth May & family. Melvin Rinehart. Susan Rogers. Brandon Haugh.
Our current teaching series, The Power of Words, was adapted from a series developed by our partners at The United Methodist Church of the Resurrection and used with permission. Many of the resources and graphics are provided by our partners. During this series, our Read.Reflect.Pray. guide publishes the daily devotional guide (called Grow, Pray, Study) from our partners with minor adaptation.