James 4:1 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. 3 You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions. 4 You adulterous people! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God?
What causes conflict in most churches? Rarely is it incorrect doctrine. Most often it is because someone or some group of individuals want their way and are unwilling to compromise and work with others. So strong was the conflict among those to whom James was writing that he accused some of them of the sin of murder. ‘You desire and do not have, so you murder.’ Verse 2 It is doubtful that there had not been an actual murder in the church, but rather this is a reference to their anger and resentment of each other. John writes in his first epistle – ‘Everyone who hates his brother is a murderer…’ (1 John 3:15)
In contrast to this we read –
‘Behold, how good and pleasant it is when brothers dwell in unity! It is like the precious oil on the head, running down on the beard, on the beard of Aaron, running down on the collar of his robes! It is like the dew of Hermon, which falls on the mountains of Zion! For there the Lord has commanded the blessing, life forevermore.’ Psalm 133:1-3
God is pleased when His people learn to live together in harmony. To Him it is as refreshing as the morning dew. It is because of this that Paul encourages Christians to do everything they can to maintain a spirit of love and unity within the church.
‘Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope when you were called; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.’ Ephesians 4:3-6
Though we may be tempted at times to want our own way, we must always keep in mind that there is no ‘I’ in the word TEAM!”