The Reason Why We Fight

What causes quarrels and what causes fights among you? Is it not this, that your passions are at
war within you? 2 You desire and do not have, so you murder. You covet and cannot obtain, so
you fight and quarrel. You do not have, because you do not ask (James 4:1-2).

Have you ever been in a fight with your brothers or sisters? (If you don’t have any brothers or
sisters, just imagine for a second.) What was it about? What happened? How was is resolved?
In any family conflict is normal. The key thing to remember when it comes to conflict is not if but why. If we can identify why it is we are in conflict with one another, we might be that much closer to resolving it. What do you want? What do they want? How can we figure this out?

In our verses for today, James tells us why we conflict. He says it is not about the other
person with whom you have a the conflict. He says it hits a little closer to home. It’s really what
is inside of you that stirs up the conflict. He says that all conflict starts in our hearts, at the level
of our desires. We see something we want (a quiet house, a certain toy, more time at the
computer, to be left alone, etc) and if we don’t get what we want, when we want it, we lash out.

So the key question might be, “Why do I want what I want so badly?” Why do I want something so bad that I am willing to fight over it?

James says something very freeing. He says that if you simply would ask God for the
things you want you might get it and wouldn’t need to fight for it. If it’s something that you
want that is not from God, then he will adjust you in due time, but why not ask God first for what you want? He loves to give good gifts to his children. This approach might be way better than taking a swing at your little brother!

Read John 16:24
• What is the promise of this verse?
• What does asking “in Jesus’ name” have to do with how we pray?
• What do you want right now that you have not asked God for, but rather, tried to manage all by

Our Father, thank you for the promise that you love to give good gifts to your children. May we
remember that you are our true provider and that we don’t have to fight and kill to get what we
think we want. Help us confront the idolatry in our lives and repent of their place in our lives.
In Jesus’ name, Amen.