Summary: This sermon analyzes some of the problems and some of the solutions regarding having peace in our relationships.
This passage points us toward some of the
causes and some solutions concerning the
lack of peace we often deal with in our
relationships (see v. 1).
I. What’s Your Problem?
James identifies some of the causes
of the problems we face. He deals
with several, but let’s limit
ourselves to three and the common
statements that often accompany them.
A. “If it feels good, I want it.”
- vv. 1b, 3b.
Although pleasure is a part of God’s
creation, when we make it our primary goal,
we inevitably will have conflicts. I will be
primarily concerned with what brings me
pleasure, while you will be concerned with
what brings you pleasure.
B. “If someone else has one, I want it.”
- v. 2 (“. . .covet and cannot obtain”).
Our striving after possessions and our
placing materialism on the throne of our
lives will create conflicts as we love things
and use people instead of using things and
C. “God will help me get what I want.”
- vv. 2b-3.
We come to believe that God is the “eternal
Santa Claus” who is there to fulfill our every
whim. This creates conflict in our
relationship with God.
II. The Root of the Problem
The root of the problem is spiritual adultery.
- vv. 4-5.
We have run after other gods and made other
things number one in our lives. Just as a
spouse committing adultery has been
unfaithful to his vows, so too we have been
unfaithful to our covenant with God.
III. What Can We Do?
A. Quit being so full of yourself.
- vv. 6-7a, 10.
Humbling ourselves and refusing to see
ourselves as the center of everything is an
excellent start. How much better our
relationships will be when we have a spirit
B. Quit riding the fence.
- vv. 7b-8.
It’s time to pick a side and fight. For too
long we have believed we could serve God
on Sunday and then hang out with the Devil
the rest of the week.
C. Quit being flippant about your part in all
- v. 9.
This verse does not speak of the spirit in
which all of our Christian life should be
lived. Rather, it speaks of the spirit of heart
we should have when we realize that so
much of the lack of peace in our lives comes
from our lack of putting God in the proper
place in our lives.