We see fights and disputes part of everyday life. We read in news, see in families and across nations. Sometimes it gets out of control and people go to extremes. When we see the motive behind these conflicts, selfish desire is the most common factor. Everyone has their own agenda to follow and we get frustrated when we don’t get what we need resulting in fights and disputes. Let us see what James tells us the reason behind it and the way out of it.
4 Those conflicts and disputes among you, where do they come from? Do they not come from your cravings that are at war within you? 2 You want something and do not have it; so you commit murder. And you covet something and cannot obtain it; so you engage in disputes and conflicts. – James 4:1-2
19 The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; 20 idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions 21 and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. – Galatians 5:19-21
We have many desires in our human state. Paul listed few of the desires in above verse. In today’s world, these are in disguise and part of our everyday life. Many times it looks attractive and very logical thing to do. When we give importance those desires, it takes hold of us. Think about selfish ambitions from the list, is it not a common thing to have in today’s generation? Having an ambition is good, but at the expense of others is selfish. Aren’t these desires getting part of our culture now?
What if these gets hold of us? It gives the temporary sense of satisfaction and we feed it more and more thinking it is real, we are making them prominent and false hope of fulfillment in our life. But the fact is, it not the real fulfillment. When we don’t get what we want, we get frustrated and start to fight with others who are coming in the way. In extreme situations, we see people committing murders and other horrific acts to fulfill their desires. Is this not true in the fights and disputes your were involved or witnessed? How can we avoid being slaved by these desires?
You do not have, because you do not ask. 3 You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, in order to spend what you get on your pleasures. -James 4:2-3
When running behind these desires, we forget the real source of fulfillment. We fall so in love with these desires and forget God. We don’t ask him to fulfill our life and we give more importance to our desires rather than to God. It is like we are telling God that we can satisfy life on our own. We run from one desire to another thinking it will satisfy us. Do we have peace and real satisfaction at the end? Sometimes we don’t realize and even ask God to fulfill these desires for us and wonder why God is not answering our prayers. When we ask God according to his will, he has promised us to answer our prayers but we tend to ask God to grant our worldly desires.
Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart. -Psalm 37:416 So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. 17 For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. -Galatians 5:16-17
How can we control the desires in us? Bible tells us when we trust in Jesus and have the spirit of God in us, we get the desire of God and it is in opposition to the desires of the flesh. God will help us overcome the desires of the flesh and he is all sufficient to fulfill all our wishes in him. This will give us the real peace and joy. We cannot search for a replacement ourselves and be in a deception that we are in the right path.
Many of us are running behind our desires thinking it will fulfill our life. We fight and dispute with others in order to achieve it. Do we have the real satisfaction? We need to evaluate on what we hold as the source of fulfillment in our life? Are we fighting with others to feed our desires? or Are we getting the real fulfillment from our creator?