Why Do We Quarrel?

Let’s face it. Part of the human condition is that we quarrel. We cannot get along with everyone and that is ok. What we can do is understand the root source of our quarrels and allow the Holy Spirit to work in us a new way to respond.

This week’s lesson is based on James chapter 4 verses 1-6. James, the author, asks the question:

What causes fights and quarrels among you? 

That is a loaded question. And then he gives an answer:

Don’t they come from your desires that battle within you? 

And that is a loaded answer. We quarrel because when there is a battle within and that battle is caused by wanting what we do not have or cannot have. The ground is level on this one. We all do it.

The early church was filled with quarreling and disagreements: In the Corinthian church, members were competing with each other in public meetings. In the church in Galatia, believers were biting and devouring one another (Galatians 5:15). Paul scolded the Ephesians because they were not unified and in Philippi, there were two women who could not get along together.

And we are no different. The good news is that Jesus is still the answer. He sent His Holy Spirit to help us grow in Him and little by little be transformed by His Word. We will still quarrel but our response will be different. Perhaps we will learn to stop before we jump into an argument because God has worked patience in us. Perhaps we will grow to see the other person or circumstances through God’s eyes. One thing is certain, if we seek the Lord and stay in His word, we will begin to respond with grace. We will grow in asking God to forgive us when we take the bait and quarrel. We will grow in asking others to forgive us. And we will grow in recognizing that disputes suck the life out of us and there is often a better way. This process of transformation is Christ in us moving us to new levels of growth.

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