James: How to Navigate Arguments
James 4 is a "thought continuation" of the previous chapter in regards to worldly wisdom and godly wisdom. That wisdom plays out in worldly and godly friendships. Within relationships, we can't force the other person to have humility or seek peace, but we can ourselves. We typically blame other people for something that leads to an argument because of something inside of us. James poses a question to answer a question, "Is it not that your passions are a war?" The word passions comes from the word "hedonist" which speaks to our intense desires.
Verse 2 shows us that our deformed desires bring conflict to the point that we want to verbally or physically kill someone. BUT, when our desires are His desires, we bring shalom instead of chaos. Often, we forget to pray and instead take matters into our own hands. Then, verse 3 shows us that sometimes we ask wrongly due to our motives and desires.
Verse 4 reminds us that God called Himself the husband of Israel, and when the people of Israel chased other gods/passions, God called His people an adulterous nation. Anyone who is a friend of the world is an enemy of God.
Verses 6-10 gives us a list of imperatives. Imperatives become reality when we do it. Indicatives speak to reality. It is a done deal, like when the verse says, "He opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble." That WILL happen...every time!
Pride - to show yourself from above.
Humility - thinking properly of yourself
1. Submit yourself to God - we serve a God of order
2. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you
3. Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you
4. Cleanse your hands, you sinners
5. Purify your heart, you double-minded
6. Be wretched
9. Be turned
10. Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will exalt you
To Discuss Today:
Abide: Reflect on God's forgiveness of you. Pray and ask God to help you live with kindness, humility, meekness, and patience.
Build: Who might you need to practice forgiveness towards today? Pray for that person by name, that God would bless their life!
Live: What situation in your life can you bring harmony to by choosing to put on love today?
Everything: What tangible step can you take towards someone with whom you are at odds?