Pastor C. J. Mahaney, on conflict and how to resolve it.
I am so glad that when it comes to relational conflict God doesn't provide mere generalities. He gives us so much more information than, "Sin has occurred" and "It's worse than you think." Now that is accurate and even quite valuable, but it doesn't suggest a solution any more than does "Check Engine" or "Error has occurred." No, God provided James 4:1-2 so that we can identify and confess our specific cravings, receive forgiveness, and begin to weaken our cravings and cultivate righteousness.
Douglas Moo, in his commentary on the letter from James, writes the following:
"With penetrating insight ... James provides us with a powerful analysis of human conflict. Verbal argument, private violence or national conflict -- the cause of them all can be traced back to the frustrated desire to want more than we have, to be envious of and covet what others have, whether it be their position or their possessions" (The Letter of James, p. 184).
This passage offers hope. Our lives need not be an endless, inevitable cycle of unresolved quarrels and fights. Instead, God provides insight and discernment so that we can put to death the sinful craving at the root of every relational conflict.