Summary: What causes fights and quarrels? 1- Wrong desires 2- Wrong directions 3- Wrong motives

INTRO.- ILL.- One Navy Seal Obituary: Aaron Carson Vaughn. Killed in that helicopter crash, Afghanistan, August 6,2011. Aaron Carson Vaughn was a man of deep faith, insisting to his family that he didn’t fear his job as a Navy SEAL "because he knew where he was going" when he died.

"Aaron was a Christian and he’s with Jesus today," Geneva Vaughn of Union City, Tenn., told The Associated Press on Saturday. "He told us when we saw him last November that he wasn’t afraid ... he said, `Granny, don’t worry about me.’"

"He was a tough warrior, but he was a gentle man."

Geneva Vaughn said her grandson, 30, joined the SEALS straight out of boot camp and was already a decorated fighter when he was asked by the Navy to return stateside to become an instructor. But he applied to SEAL Team 6 after two years, earning his way onto the squad in 2010.

He asked the military to return him to combat and shipped out just six weeks before he was killed, Vaughn said.

"He was doing what he loved to do and he was a true warrior," Geneva Vaughn said.

Aaron Vaughn leaves behind his wife, Kimberly, and two children, 2-year-old son Reagan and 2-month-old daughter Chamberlyn.

"They will take away his love for Christ. They will take his dream and his love for the country, and they will know what an amazing man he is," Kimberly said about the children in an interview on NBC’s "Today" show Monday.

What a shame that young man was killed in war. What a shame that wars even exist but they always will because of sin and evil in this world.

When we think of the military we think of fighting and war. That’s what soldiers sometimes have to do.

But what about the rest of us? Do we have to fight and quarrel with people on a daily basis? We don’t have to do but some people do. It seems that some people are always looking for trouble or they may think they are always right about everything so it’s easy for them to get into a quarrel with others.

Our text is about fighting and quarreling. Why do people fight and quarrel? Lots of reasons and our text gives us more insight about quarreling.

PROP.- What causes fights and quarrels?

1- Wrong desires

2- Wrong directions

3- Wrong motives


1 What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don’t they come from your desires that battle within you?

To desire something is to crave something or want something. And sometimes our cravings are evil.

Mark 4:19 Jesus said: “The worries of this life, the deceitfulness of wealth and the desires for other things come in and choke the word, making it unfruitful.”

Romans 7:8 “But sin, seizing the opportunity afforded by the commandment, produced in me every kind of covetous desire.”

Romans 8:5 “Those who live according to the sinful nature have their minds set on what that nature desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires.”

Romans 13:14 “Rather, clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the sinful nature.”

Galatians 5:16 “So I say, live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature.”

What things do you desire in this world? Oh wow! We could make a very long list, could we not?

ILL.- Marilyn Monroe, the blonde bombshell of ages past, is quoted as saying, “I don’t want to make money, I just want to be wonderful."

I think we all know that she was a messed up woman. To be wonderful or to appear wonderful to all people is a matter of human pride. And many people love limelight of life!

ILL.- It was said that Theodore Roosevelt was sometimes known as Roosevelt the First. He was a President who knew his value; he did not cheapen himself by underestimating it. “Father always had to be the center of attention,” said one of his children. “When he went to a wedding, he wanted to be the bride. When he went to a funeral, he was sorry that he couldn’t be the corpse.” HOW CRAZY IS THAT!

Proverbs 16:18 “Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall.”

I Peter 5:5 “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.”

Most people prefer to have more money.

ILL.- Will Rogers said: "Too many people spend money they haven’t earned, to buy things they don’t want, to impress people they don’t like."

I’m sure this is true for some people. It’s called “keeping up with the Joneses.” Often in life we want the things that other people have, perhaps thinking this will make us happy.

ILL.- Benjamin Franklin wrote: He that is of the opinion money will do everything may well be suspected of doing everything for money.

I Timothy 6:6-10 6 But godliness with contentment is great gain. 7 For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. 8 But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that. 9 People who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge men into ruin and destruction. 10 For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.

People have all kinds of wrong desires and that’s why they get into trouble, at least, trouble with God! But often, their desires make them selfish which in turn causes arguments, quarrels, and fighting.

These desires come from within and must be conquered and/or overcome by the power of Christ in order to cease quarreling. Christ gives us the power to overcome!

I Corinthians 15:56-57 “The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.”

I John 5:4 “For everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith.”


2 You want something but don’t get it. You kill and covet, but you cannot have what you want. You quarrel and fight. You do not have, because you do not ask God.

We sometimes go to the wrong source for what we need in life. Instead of asking God, we go elsewhere. We have the wrong directions. Or we are going in the wrong direction.

ILL.- In November, 1975, 75 convicts started digging a secret tunnel designed to bring them up at the other side of the wall of Saltillo Prison in northern Mexico. On April 18, 1976, guided by pure genius, they tunneled up into the nearby courtroom in which many of them had been sentenced. The surprised judges returned all 75 to jail.

Oh brother! How misguided or misdirected they were! Of course, when you’re tunneling in darkness I guess it would be easy to go in the wrong direction. AND THAT’S A GOOD POINT!

When people live in darkness rather than light, they often go in the wrong direction!

Ephesians 2:1-3 “As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our sinful nature and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature objects of wrath.”

Paul is saying that at one time we all were dead spiritually because we lived in sin. When a person doesn’t know the Lord they are often controlled by their sinful desires. They follow the ways of the world and even the ruler of the air who is Satan.

And what happens when a person like this gets in trouble? Sometimes they turn to the Lord, BUT sometimes they turn everywhere else and seek the wrong help.

ILL.- I had a friend many years ago whose wife was going to divorce him. He was completely broken over this. But where did he go for help? He went to some secular marriage counselor who basically said, “Let her go” but he didn’t want to lose her.

He came to me and I directed him to the Lord. I basically said, “The Lord is your only hope. You need to give your life to Christ, but this won’t guarantee that your wife will come back.”

He eventually gave his life to Christ but she didn’t come back. Why not? She was controlled by the ways of this world. She was looking for a better man or what she thought was a better man. She was also quite adulterous.

When people are lost they will often go in the wrong direction for help, but we should know better and do better!

You quarrel and fight. You do not have, because you do not ask God.

Matthew 6:33 “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.”

I’ve heard it said and believe it, that if we would “first” seek the Lord about any problem we’re face with in life that it would be solved a lot better and a lot quicker. But often, we don’t do this. Prayer and seeking the Lord is sometimes the last thing we do instead the first thing we should do!

It’s like what people have said: Is prayer your steering wheel or your spare tire? Do you wait until you have a flat tire problem to pray or do you constantly seek the Lord in life and let Him do the driving? As Carrie Underwood sings, “JESUS, TAKE THE WHEEL!”


3 When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.

ILL.- Some Go To Church...

Some go to church just for a walk,

Some go to church to laugh and talk,

Some go there the time to spend,

Some go there to meet a friend.

Some go there for speculation—

Some go there for observation,

Some go there to doze and nod,

Some, how few, to worship God.

Why do you go to church? WHAT’S YOUR MOTIVE? Do you go for the right reason or the wrong reason.

ILL.- I remember while preaching in one church that a man and his family joined our church in a short time. It wasn’t long after that he was calling members trying to sell them some kind of insurance. I don’t think they stayed very long in our church. I talked to the man as to why they had stopped coming to our church and he said he had some differences with our teaching and/or doctrine.

Honestly, I don’t think that was the problem. I think he’d sold as many insurance policies as he could and then he quit and went to another church.

II Timothy 2:19 “Nevertheless, God’s solid foundation stands firm, sealed with this inscription: “The Lord knows those who are his,” and,“Everyone who confesses the name of the Lord must turn away from wickedness.”

The Lord knows. The Lord knows everything. The Lord knows those who are his. The Lord knows those who truly belong to Him. The Lord knows our motives for coming to church and claiming to be a Christian. Does this bother you or encourage you?

I will admit that I have been preaching 45 years and I have seen a few people in some churches that I really wondered about. I wondered whether they really knew the Lord or if their faith was just a front.

I Timothy 5:24-25 “The sins of some men are obvious, reaching the place of judgment ahead of them; the sins of others trail behind them. In the same way, good deeds are obvious, and even those that are not cannot be hidden.” Nothing is hidden to God; not our lives, not our thoughts, not our motives.

3 When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.

When you pray and ask God for something, what’s your motive?

ILL.- During the minister’s prayer one Sunday, there was a loud whistle from one of the back pews. Gary’s mother was horrified. She pinched him into silence, and after church, asked: "Gary, whatever made you do such a thing?" Gary answered soberly: "I asked God to teach me to whistle... And He just then did!

I doubt it. I don’t think he did and I don’t think God did.

ILL.- We have heard people joke about someone asking God to win the lottery or something similar. Now honestly, you know that if someone is buying lots of lottery tickets and that person asks God to help them win, they might as well be spitting against the wind.

God will not answer that kind of selfish prayer!

Some people live for pleasure and I guess some would even dare to ask God help them get all the pleasure they can in life.

However, II Timothy 3:4 speaks of those who are lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God. The two are opposite of one another.

We need to examine ourselves, our faith. Why do we do what we do in life? Why do we ask God for anything?


What causes fights and quarrels? We may not always know what causes these but we should know how to stop them! And there is really only one way to stop all fighting and quarrels and that is to seek the Lord. To do His will. To yield in obedience to His Word. When we strive to do His will He will empower us to be overcomers!

Steve Shepherd, Jonesboro Christian Church, AR