The Source Of Conflict (Part 1)

During my 48 years, I’ve been in (And started) my share of arguments.  More times than I would like to admit, I have been the one who contributed to disagreements once they begin.  Along with that, I have been the pastor of four churches in 20 years.  I have also talked with pastors and members of countless other churches.  Of many things that are true of the human existence… including church… is the presence of conflict.

In church, the first person blamed for conflict is Satan.  The second person blamed is “them” (“Them” is defined as “Not us or our group.”).  The last person we consider blaming is ourselves.  The problem with these thoughts is that they are not Biblical.  Consider James 4:1-2 (ESV)…

“What causes quarrels and what causes fights among you? Is it not this, that your passions are at war within you?  You desire and do not have, so you murder. You covet and cannot obtain, so you fight and quarrel.”

James is writing to Christians in a church that was quarreling and fighting.  In addressing the situation, he doesn’t allow blame shifting.  He doesn’t allow rationalization.  He doesn’t salve their conscious by affirming how hard they’ve had it… how difficult their home life was… or that life has treated them unfairly.  Instead he exposes the source of their quarrels and fights.  And if we will listen, what he wrote to them is also true of us…

Cravings Cause Conflict.  According to God, the reason we argue, fight, and go to war with others is because we want something (A craving)… can’t obtain it… so we go on the offensive that results in conflict.  These cravings are like fire that begins small and grows until it consumes us, then it jump from us to others (“Among you…”). 

The cravings and desires that cause quarrels, fights, and wars are WITHIN US.  Let God’s Word settle into your heart.  The problem is not “them.”  The problems isn’t “out there.”  The problem is in us!  WE are the one that begins… intensifies… and continues all the quarrels, fights, and wars.

What is it we crave that makes us quarrel, fight, and go to war with one another?  You will have to answer that for yourself, but here are mine by way of confession (These are embarrassing): Recognition, affirmation, control, peace, ease, and my way.  When these are threatened, the escalation begins from quarrels, and if not checked, to war.  You do the very same thing…

So what is the answer?  Tomorrow, God willing, I will make a few suggestion regarding the problem we all have…