What causes quarrels and what causes fights among you? Is it not this, that your passions are at war within you? 2 You desire and do not have, so you murder. You covet and cannot obtain, so you fight and quarrel.
Look at the highlighted words in those verses.
What is the first thing that comes to mind?
War, murder, fights, quarrels; strong language, huh?
Maybe you're thinking those verses don't apply to me because "I'm just having a disagreement, not sure you would even call it an argument; I'm certainly not going to kill them."
But, have you set a spark that might burn down a great forest; is the little leading to the big?
Wars don't just happen over night; they start little and grow.
Gregory Stanton, the founder of Genocide Watch says there are 8 stages that lead to genocide.
- Distinguish – There is a division that happens. Is your desire to win the argument causing a divide in your relationship? Is it becoming "us against them"?
- Classify - Is there enough of a divide that you've given them a name? You know, you refer to them as a "_________" to describe the division.
- Dehumanize – Then we start to describe them in terms that are not human – a plaque, cancer, dog, anything that might equate them with animals, vermin, insects or diseases.
- Organize – We form our support groups against them. Think of how many people you are trying to get to see your side of the argument.
- Polarize – The argument might have started over a minor issue, but now you start focusing on the extreme elements of your division.
- Preparation – Battle plans are drawn. We are going to "war".
- Extermination – You destroy the others. The world is better off!
- Denial – You deny that it ever happened, that they existed.
Does that change you perspective on the situation? Where are you headed, to war?
Jesus said "For from within, out of the heart of man, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery,…"
James' point: you need to get a "new heart"!