Where do the wars and where do the conflicts among you come from?
Is it not from your passions that make war within your members?
You covet but do not possess.
You kill and envy but you cannot obtain;
you fight and wage war.
You do not possess because you do not ask.
You ask but do not receive, because you ask wrongly,
to spend it on your passions.
Do you not know that to be a lover of the world means enmity with God?
Therefore, whoever wants to be a lover of the world
makes himself an enemy of God.
Or do you suppose that the Scripture speaks without meaning when it says,
The spirit that he has made to dwell in us tends toward jealousy?
But he bestows a greater grace; therefore, it says:
God resists the proud,
but gives grace to the humble.
So submit yourselves to God.
Resist the Devil, and he will flee from you.
Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you.
Cleanse your hands, you sinners,
and purify your hearts, you of two minds.
Begin to lament, to mourn, to weep.
Let your laughter be turned into mourning
and your joy into dejection.
Humble yourselves before the Lord
and he will exalt you.-James 4:1-10
The letter of James is a book that is challenging. It is a book that calls us to action, and the passage today is no exception. St. James is blunt and to the point. He is basically saying that we have conflict because we want what someone else has. We want it so bad that it starts to take over our mind. We think about it so much that we become resentful and start to justify doing wrong to the person. Think about that. You may have done that. I know I have. He then talks about humility and resisting temptation. The reason that this is here is no accident. Humility and resisting temptation will help us avoid covetousness. This will help build stronger relationships and community among believers.
Satan knows what we like and he knows what makes us tick. He will do everything in his power to make you stumble. He will make you feel that someone doesn’t deserve what they have to the point that you wish harm on the person. He will make you want to look at that porn site one more time because you aren’t hurting anyone. He will make you do any number of things and will help you justify them. He is called the father of lies for a reason. Resist the bitterness, envy, and strife. Be humble and resist the snares of the devil. Remember to rest in Christ and be humble and he will lift you up.
Your first task is to be dissatisfied with yourself, fight sin, and transform yourself into something better. Your second task is to put up with the trials and temptations of this world that will be brought on by the change in your life and to persevere to the very end in the midst of these things.