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Source of Contention

By Pastor John Bingham

James 4:1, “From whence come wars and fightings among you? come they not hence, even of your lusts that war in your members?”

Have you ever looked around and wondered, “Why is there so much conflict?” Wars among nations, fighting among relationships that were once intimate, and anger that seems to come out of no where. All of these things can leave us longing for peace and hope.

James teaches us the source of all this contention is a selfish desire to have your own way. It is an earnest desire to have our own way above everything else, and no matter how it affects those around me. We are not happy until our way is the only way, until I am lifted up, and recognized.

Marriages fail because spouses become selfish and demand their own way. Churches split because people are not willing to submit to one another (Ephesians 5:21). Nations war against nations because one rises up against another in their pride and selfishness.

If we look back to the book of Genesis, we find that even our own relationship with God was damaged because Adam demanded his own way and was not willing to follow the Lord’s direction. It was this same pride, the same arrogance, the same problem that arose then that still arises today.

What’s the antidote to this kind of toxic thinking? Philippians 2 teaches us that it is to put on the mind of Christ. In this chapter, we are taught that Christ, who is eternally God, was willing to submit His will to the Father’s will. This was the spirit of humility. The only way to heal broken relationships is to submit to the Lord in humility and allow Christ to get the glory by willingly following Christ. Don’t let pride keep you from seeing God perform a mighty miracle in your heart and life. Let’s put on the mind of Christ.

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