The Green Killer
Verse 2 You desire but do not have, so you kill. You covet but you cannot get what you want, so you quarrel and fight. You do not have because you do not ask God.
Yesterday we started talking about how arguments are the result of selfishness. Today we follow James as he explains some of the things that are going on in our hearts due to the selfishness.
If we are honest with ourselves we would all admit that we know we tend to be selfish. If we know this about ourselves then we should also know that we should be doing something about it. The majority of us have not actually tried to kill someone in the physical sense, but we have all had times of killing others with our words and attitudes. James points out that often times this is due to our wanting something that they have. In other words we kill or attack another person because of jealousy.
Jealously has a nasty tendency. It stirs up in us the desire for more and that leads us to be discontent with what God has given us. It isn’t always something big either. It may be that as a child we didn’t like the way our nose looked and someone else had what we considered to be the perfect nose. Because we envied them their nose the very sight of them made us upset and so we subconsciously found things about them that we didn’t like and we started making fun of those things. We may have even pointed them out to our friends so that they wouldn’t like that person either.
While this example may seem silly to us adults we shouldn’t get too pious because we may be doing the same thing just in a more grown up way. We envy someone else’s house, job, relationship status or many other things. And we may not make fun of them with our friends but we likely treat them differently, maybe even rudely. We may find ourselves on the opposite side of an issue as them, not because we actually dislike the thing they stand up for, but because we just don’t care for them.
The Church is not immune to these issues. In fact many a congregation has split because of arguments that started over petty differences and blew out of proportion, involving more and more people and in turn breaking more and more relationships. So while most people are not physically injured, the pews are occupied with those that are emotionally and spiritually injured, bleeding and dying on the inside. This is one of the saddest ailments of the Church today. By not holding ourselves accountable for our selfishness we are killing those around us needlessly. This is not the love we are called to by Christ.
Making It Personal
What is it that you are jealous about that has been hurting relationships? Who is someone that you have been killing with your thoughts? What do you need to do today to bring the relationship back to life?
Making It Personal Kids
What are you jealous about? Who do you not like because they have something that you wish you had? How can you try to be friends with that person?
Father, we haven’t been living like You want us to and for that we are sorry. Guide us to who we need to reconcile with. In Jesus’ name, amen.