Wk 6 // Big Jim // Why We Fight And How To Stop
What is the silliest fight you have gotten in lately? How long did it go on?
You’ve likely been involved in a foolish fight that you knew was silly. Why do we sometimes tend to prolong silly fights?
If you could identify one core issue behind most of the fights you get into, what would it be?
Silly fights happen all the time, just ask someone with siblings or a spouse. No one likes to be wrong so we dig in our heels, even when we are wrong. Often it is the smallest and most insignificant fights that become long-term sources of strain in our lives and our relationships.
In this week’s message Pastor Brian talked about the source of our conflict, and how important it is to get our heart right before we try to resolve conflict with others. When we fight about petty things and allow those arguments to get out of control, James says there is one main cause—jealousy. We want something we don’t have, and believe it is so important to have our way that we fight for it. Today we will look into James’s practical wisdom to see why we fight and how to stop.
Spend a few minutes recapping this week's sermon together. Click here to view the sermon notes.
What was one takeaway from this week's sermon for you?
Were there any stories, ideas, or points that stuck out?
Was there anything that challenged you?
Have a volunteer read James 4:1-3.
How has jealousy been the cause of some of your disagreements?
If you are honest, what are some things in life that cause you to become jealous of others?
James said that fights come from unmet desires and disappointments. So how are our desires linked to jealousy? The word James used for desires is where we get the English word “hedonism,” which is the pursuit of pleasure. We want things, and we don’t get them. Those unsatisfied desires lead to all kinds of fighting. We feel as though we don’t have what we need and see someone else who has it. If you think back through many of your fights, you should be able to identify some kind of unmet desire as the root cause.
Where do you see self-indulgence working in our broader culture? How does what you see around you support what James is saying in Scripture?
Modern American culture is among the most self-indulgent cultures. In our culture, fulfilling your desires at any cost is seen as a virtue. We like things fast, and we like things easy. Marketing campaigns focus on our desires and how quickly they can be met with a product. Additionally, many people believe that if our desires don’t hurt anyone else, then it gives us license to do whatever we want. Christians are called to care because people whose primary goal is to chase their desires only hurt themselves in the end. Furthermore, wanting what God does not want us to have leads to all manners of brokenness.
Have a volunteer Read James 4:4-10.
How does being in love with the things of the world harm our relationship with God?
Who is the most humble person you know? What could you emulate about his or her life?
How does cultivating a humble heart keep us away from jealousy and conflict with others?
We are a proud people—too proud to admit that we need help with our jealousy, and too proud to submit ourselves to God. Humility is the path to God and away from our sinful desires that cause jealousy and conflict. Relief from jealousy comes when we come near to God and confess our sins.
Have a volunteer read James 4:11-12.
Have you ever gotten in a fight because you said something that you shouldn’t have said? What led you to speak those words?
How does your own selfishness affect and harm other people? Why is this something that we cannot afford to ignore as followers of Christ?
Which relationship in your life could benefit from greater humility?
How could avoiding judging others and being jealous of them lead to opportunities for you to share the grace of God with them?
Pray that God would work in your heart and life and keep you from jealousy. Ask Him to help you celebrate His grace at work in others’ lives, and to help you come to Him in humility and receive His grace.