There are times we don’t get along with each other. Probably more often than any of us would care to admit. Husbands and wives have difficulties and disagreements over the most insignificant things all the time. Brothers and sisters fight and squabble over a cheap plastic toy. Children choose to argue with parents over their need for personal freedoms as if they are Scotsmen on the brink of war with England. The examples of what we fight about are a deep well of disparaging conflict that plagues our human existence.

So, why do we fight? Well, that’s simple. Pride. Our pride promotes strife. James wrote, “Where do wars and fights come from among you? Do they not come from your desires for pleasure that war in your members? You lust and do not have. You murder and covet and cannot obtain. You fight and war. Yet you do not have because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive, because you ask amiss, that you may spend it on your pleasures.” (James 4: 1-4)  The complexity of human conflict is boiled down in its essence in our pride.

How incredibly heartbreaking it is when what we want is more important than the ones who we are to love. Every conflict is tragic, most are private and some are very public. They become a raging wild fire powered by the winds of pride, envy, and selfishness, consuming anything in its path. How tragic when we look back through the ravaged landscape of relationship we have burned to the ground. Is this really the outcome we wanted? I would like to say the answer’s no, but pride is an awful life partner. Some desire victory at any cost because, of course, they must be right. Pau warned the church in Galatia, “For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ But if you bite and devour one another, beware lest you be consumed by one another!” (Galatians 5:13-15)

We often want to blame the devil for everything, but there is a good chance that we are laying fire to the foundations of our marriages, families and even the church, that was paid for by the precious blood of Christ Jesus our Lord and Savior, with our own hands. Why, our need to be right? Our desire to have control? Our self-centered needs to be right? Shame on us. Shame on all of us. James asked, “Who is wise and understanding among you? Let him show by good conduct that his works are done in the meekness of wisdom. But if you have bitter envy and self-seeking in your hearts, do not boast and lie against the truth. This wisdom does not descend from above, but is earthly, sensual, demonic. For where envy and self-seeking exist, confusion and every evil thing are there.” (James 3: 13-16)

So then, how do we fit it? It’s love. The answer is simple to hear and understand, but is complex in its application and can be overwhelming. Jesus commanded us, “Little children, I shall be with you a little while longer. You will seek Me; and as I said to the Jews, ‘Where I am going, you cannot come’, so now I say to you. A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”(John 13:33-35) Remember family, no matter our difficulties or conflicts, we must earnestly and actively seek, with all our heart, soul, mind and strength, a quick resolution based on our love for God and our love for one another. For in that the world will see the witnesses of Christ as we are commanded to be.

But what if we don’t love? Well, John said, “Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. He who does not love does not know God, for God is love.” (1 John 4:7-8)

Being An Example
Making Choices