Are you in a boxing ring?
Quarreling seems to be something that is the norm for most families and even friends. How far it is allowed to go, or what boundaries are put in place are very important.
As a teacher, there are high expectations about how my students should treat one another and respect each other’s opinions. Does this means students don’t quarrel or disagree? Absolutely not. But, the expectations for how to disagree are put in place early in the year, so students can disagree in a respectful manner when discussing topics of sensitivity.
When I look around lately, I do not see most people putting these expectations into place in society. If our leaders, our newsmakers, our heroes do not respect one another’s opinions, then how will our youth truly understand how to have conversations that have opposing positions, while still learning from one another? In James 4, James is talking to Christians about things that causes fights and quarrels. He asks, don’t these quarrels and fights come from your desires that battle within you? James told the Christians to examine their own hearts. He reminds us that if we have friendship with the world we are the enemy of God.
Think about that, if we are of this world, we are the enemy of God. James uses strong words to get our attention. Just as a parent uses strong words to discipline their child, so does James when he sees the Christians not following God’s laws. As we reflect on our own sins, what do we find? It might be addictions, jealousy, or bitterness towards someone. But James tells us to wash our hands of our sins, and be renewed. While we are reflecting on our own sins, we should keep our eyes focused in the mirror. If our eyes stray back and forth or behind us, it is easy to see another person to judge and find guilty of equal or greater sin. James reminds us there is only one judge, God Almighty. We may not always agree with what hand we are being dealt and want to quarrel or fight with God. But as daughters and sons of the Most High, we can go to him in prayer and share our feelings with him. He knew us before we were in our mother’s womb, so who better to go to when in time of need.
What is keeping our relationships farther away from our loved ones or from God? If there are fights or quarrels, seek rebuilding. You may be able to rebuild a lost relationship with a family member, but for sure God will pull you in close, and comfort and forgive you.
Blessings Sweet Friends,