“What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don’t they come from your desires that battle within you? You want something but don’t get it. You kill and covet, but you cannot have what you want. You quarrel and fight. You do not have, because you do not ask God. When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.This week I’ve been reading from the New Testament written by James, the brother of Jesus.  In the passage above, James asks the question, “What causes fights and quarrels among you?”  Then he answers his own question by saying, “Don’t they come from your desires that battle within you?”  James 4:1-3, NIV

This week I have been reading the New Testament book written by James, the brother of Jesus.  I love his letter written “To the twelve tribes scattered among the nations” (James 1:1) because it is very practical and very direct.  We need more preaching and teaching like that today.

In the above passage (4:1-3), James identifies the source of most “fights and quarrels” in the church–they derive from our selfish, personal desires.  The greek word for the term “desires” is the source of the word “hedonism.”  Dictionary.com defines “hedonism” as “the doctrine that pleasure or happiness is the highest good.”

We live in a day when many believe that the church exists to serve them, to entertain them, and to make them happy, but actually the opposite is true.  The Church does not exist to serve us; as Christians, we exist to serve the Church. 

May the Lord help every believer in every Christ-honoring church to set aside his or her personal desires for the church to pursue the desires that the Lord has for His church!  May it begin in me.

2 thoughts on “Fights and Quarrels in the Church

  1. My pastor in Knoxville used to say that He didn’t understand division in the church because God only has one will, and if the people are praying, like you said, unselfishly, that they should all be hearing the same thing! He was always happy to report that in our church’s history, there was never one “nay” on any vote they ever had. That is pretty cool!

    And he also used to say that there was no perfect church. And if you ever found it, you better not go there cause you’d ruin it! He was pretty pragmatic.


  2. Amen! Great post. Thank you for your transparency. My prayer is that our church continues to strive to be a church concerned less about our own selfish desires and more about what Christ desires from us; a life of selflessness for His glory. So blessed to call you my Pastor.


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