“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.