James 4: The Path to Peace
Conflict is a part of life. If you live or spend any amount of time with people, you are going to have conflict. Even the 12 apostles—who lived and spent time with Jesus—fought (Matt. 18:1-5, 20:20-24). The question then becomes: How do we work through things in a Christ-like way? Remember, life’s battles are to be solved, not won.
In James 4:1-10, James teaches us not only what causes conflicts and fights, but also how to resolve them. What is the path to peace?
*Take it to God (v. 2b-3): Sounds simple, but that’s what we do. As soon as conflict breaks out, put the brakes on and go to God.
*Check our motives (v. 3): When’s the last time you checked your motives? Is my motive to resolve the conflict, bring love and heal the relationship?
*Stop and listen (v. 4): How many of our conflicts could have been avoided if we had just stopped to listen and objectively evaluate?
*Give grace (v. 6): The person you’re having the conflict with is saved by the same grace, mercy and blood that saves you.
*Submit to God and resist the devil (v. 7): God wonderfully created us, with different personalities, talents and passions. Where it becomes a problem is when we allow those differences to be used by the evil one to create conflict—in our homes, relationships and the church. We love one another and the church that Jesus died for too much to give place to the devil.
*Repent (v. 8-9): When our hearts are broken and we’ve allowed the filth of this world to dominate our lives, it’s not the time to make excuses or laugh it off. It’s a time for gloom and mourning.
*Act with humility (v. 6, 10): Humility is not acting like a doormat, but it’s taking the other person and putting them in a place of honor. It’s having an attitude of giving and serving.
We will have conflict, but we need to be determined that we will do this in a Godly way. Go about this how God wants us to. Live out the fruit of the Spirit (Gal. 5:22-23).
— Steven Matthews