Pride Promotes Strife

Addressing a national seminar of Southern Baptist leaders, George Gallup said, “We find there is very little difference in ethical behavior between churchgoers and those who are not active religiously...The levels of lying, cheating, and stealing are remarkable similar i … More

Worldliness

James makes it plain in these verses that wars come from our sinful desires. These “wars and fightings” (v. 1) do not refer to  international wars but to feuds and conflicts within the Christian community. What we do know is that feuds and conflicts among professing Christians are not just something of the past. In fact someone has rightfully said that Christians today are the only army that shoots off each others feet. Some Christians even make it a lifetime occupation of exposing and denouncing other Christians. The devil certainly must rejoice in the lifestyle of this type of Christian.

The writer develops more specifically the connection between lust and pleasures (v. 2). He emphasizes what can and does happen when men choose pleasure rather than God as a way of  life. James has traced the origin of feuds and quarrels in the church to lust for pleasure and the desire for self gratification. The person that chooses to be a friend of the world is the enemy of God (vv. 3-4). It is one thing for a Christian to unintentionally find himself in an atmosphere of worldliness and quite another thing to deliberately adopt worldliness as a way of life.

God makes great demands upon His people (v. 5). He also makes great provision for them (v. 6). The difficulties of living wholly for God in a wicked world are many but God’s grace is more than adequate for all our needs (v. 6).

Application

Have I been guilty of criticizing and condemning other Christians because they do not live and do things exactly like I do? If so, what am I doing to change this pattern of life style?

James 4:1-5 (English Standard Version)


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