What causes fights and quarrels among you?

Especially since those we usually fight and quarrel with are our friends or our lovers!

Well, I guess we are dealing with a whole lot of passion and passion has been known to side step the brain on more than a number of occasions.  If I am not mistaken, there are usually two passions that are in conflict within ourselves and that fighting within ourselves moves from the internal to the external when we engage someone else in our conflict.

What are those internal, passionate wars within ourselves?

The desire for security, well-being, wealth, possessions, good relationships, and our desire for both intimacy and independence from others, at the same time, can lead us to send mixed messages because we are mixed ourselves as to what exactly we want from this or that relationship.

The internal conflict heightens our insecurity, fear, anxiety and so leads us to take more extreme measures in our relationships with others. We have conflict within ourselves and we collide with the passions of others when we interact.

Our passions or desires tempt us to believe we need to possess, obtain, or control in order to have peace. But these lead instead to destruction and discontent.   We desire, covet, or envy and cannot have or obtain. So our solution is to kill, to destroy, or to fight others.

This is a bad thought, but it is nevertheless real – our envy of others can lead us to kill our relationship with them, to gossip about them to others in an effort to “kill” their reputation, or simply to “kill” our feelings towards them because we are so unhappy that they have it better than we do. It is impossible to be peaceful and content when envy and jealousy are at work in us. We may try to tell ourselves that it is not fair the way our lives are now and we have a “right” to make getting what we want a priority. But this justification does not really improve our situation but makes it worse in deeper ways.

Is there a solution?  If there is, it will have to involve the brain.  Make the decision to love – regardless – see that makes a difference.


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3 responses to this post.

  1. I think your using James 4:1, am I right?:

    1What causes quarrels and what causes fights among you? Is it not this, that your passions[a] are(A) at war within you?[b]


    I completely agree with everything you said. But I was wondering about what you meant in your last paragraph:

    “Is there a solution? If there is, it will have to involve the brain. Make the decision to love – regardless – see that makes a difference.”

    Personally, I always thought that Jesus and his death was the solution, as only he (to my knowledge) can give us the ability to love. Thus I was wondering at your answer to your lead-in question, “Make the decision to love – regardless – see that makes a difference.” Could you describe how someone makes the decision to love by will-power (without Jesus first affecting them)?

    I’m very sorry for sounding like some sort of critic: I’m not questioning per se what you said, just the idea behind it. As I said, I agree completely with everything you said.

    Thank you for this wonderful post!


    • One of my concerns have always been around the fact that we think we have to “feel” like loving someone when Christ has informed us “to” love. Every day I wake up, I do not wait for me to “feel” like loving my wife, I make the “decision” to love her regardless of those feelings. What always happens is that the feeling of love comes almost immediately after the decision. So I always lead with obedience and my feelings follow after.
      I am writing as a follower of Christ, not writing to people of no faith – explaining James 4:1 to people of no faith is pretty much impossible when those of faith can’t love either. So Jesus is the reason we love – He asked us too and I am assuming my audience is aware of that – and they are now aware that they are not making the decision to obey.


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