• Even the early church experienced
dissension within the body.
• James identified the source of their conflicts
and pointed to the need for humility before God
• See Picture Page 62
Q: What conflicts and competitions do you find
John R. Wible, 5
Healthy Competition or Fight?
Q: Is this true: “We have a natural inclination to
want our own way when we are in conflict
with another person?”
Q: Look at “The Bible Meets Life” (BOOK, p.
Q: What comparison does our author make
between healthy competition and fights?
John R. Wible, 6
1 What is the source of wars and fights among you?
Don’t they come from the cravings that are at war
2 You desire and do not have. You murder and covet and
cannot obtain. You fight and war. You do not have
because you do not ask.
3 You ask and don’t receive because you ask with wrong
motives, so that you may spend it on your evil
4 Adulteresses! Don’t you know that friendship with the
world is hostility toward God? So, whoever wants to
be the world’s friend becomes God’s enemy.
5 Or do you think it’s without reason the Scripture says
that the Spirit who lives in us yearns jealously?
John R. Wible, 7
• Sun Tzu
John R. Wible, 8
The Root Causes of Conflict
• Cravings that are at war within you.
• Desire for that which you do not have.
• Murder and covet for that which you cannot
• You do not have because you do not ask.
• You ask and don’t receive because you ask
with wrong motives, so that you may spend it
on your evil desires.
John R. Wible, 9
• See “1. Self-centeredness,” (p. 62.) “Cravings”
and “evil desires” come from the same Greek
word from which we get our word hedonism.
• “Hedonism” - a school of thought that argues
that pleasure is the only intrinsic good.
• In very simple terms, a hedonist strives to
maximize net pleasure (pleasure minus pain).
• ἡδονισμός (hēdonis’mos); ἡδονή (hēdonē’) =
John R. Wible, 10
John R. Wible, 11
• Q: Book, P. 63, Q #2 - What cravings most
often lead you into conflict?
• Q: Practically, explain what a conflict looks
like that stems from self-centeredness;
• Q: From prayerlessness;
• Q: From worldliness.
• Q: How does knowing the root causes of our
conflicts help us avoid them?
A Matter of the Heart
• Q #3 (BOOK, p. 65): “How are motives related
• Q: How would you respond to the activity
“X-Ray Your Motives” (BOOK, p. 65)?
John R. Wible, 12
Two to Tango?
• As relating to conflict, does it
take two to tango?
• Is there a conflict if one party won’t play?
• Our problems arise when we cave in to the
pressure of conflict and respond out of our
own anger or frustration rather than being
filled with the Holy Spirit.
John R. Wible, 13
James 4:6-10 Says:
6 But He gives greater grace. Therefore, He says: God
resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.
7 Therefore, submit to God. But resist the Devil, and he
will flee from you.
8 Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you.
Cleanse your hands, sinners, and purify your hearts,
9 Be miserable and mourn and weep. Your laughter must
change to mourning and your joy to sorrow.
10 Humble yourselves before the Lord, and He will exalt
John R. Wible, 14
1. Humble Yourself
2. Submit to God
3. Resist the Devil
4. Draw Near to God
5. Get Rid of Your Sins
6 But He gives greater grace. Therefore, He
says: God resists the proud, but gives grace
to the humble.
John R. Wible, 15
Q: Why is humbling ourselves first on James’s
list? Let’s talk about:
• How does pride compound our personal
conflicts ? Conflicts in the church;?
• Why does pride put us in opposition to God?
• Even so, why does God respond with grace to
John R. Wible, 16
• The proud (v. 6)—those who choose to align
their hearts with anyone or anything other than
God, thus making Him their rival.
• The humble (v. 6)—The term conveys a state or
attitude of lowliness or poverty. As the term
relates to Christ, humble people have the right
view of themselves—lowly, impotent, and
unworthy; but they have the right view of God—
exalted, powerful, and provider.
John R. Wible, 17
• Submission to God - we submit our
wills to His.
• We attend seminars on being more assertive, but
no seminars exist on how to submit.
• This military term describes responding according
to one’s rank.
• The real conflict is inside of us, Who’s in charge?
• But, are there rewards in submission? (V. 7a)
John R. Wible, 18
Is Submission Easy?
• Q: Are there challenges is submitting
to Christ’s will?
• Q: Challenges aside, how do we learn to
follow Christ in our conflicts?
• Q: Are there rewards associated with obeying
• Re-read verse 7a. (Submit to God)
John R. Wible, 19
Resist the Devil
• Q: Note the BOOK, (p. 68). What is the origin
of the word used for “Devil” in this passage?
• What are the various ways he may impact or
influence our conflicts?
• Q: Question #4 (BOOK,, p. 68): “What is
involved in resisting the Devil?”
• READ: verse 8. (Draw Near to God)
John R. Wible, 20
How To Draw Near to God
Note the three subheads on pages 68-69.
• Read the Bible;
Q: Question #5 (BOOK,, p. 69): “What helps you
draw near to Christ and humble yourself
John R. Wible, 21
Dump Your Sin
• VV. 9-10: . 9 Be miserable and mourn and
weep; let your laughter be turned into
mourning and your joy to gloom. 10 Humble
yourselves in the presence of the Lord, and
He will exalt you.”
• Q: Is it true that the solution to our conflicts
begins when we examine ourselves?
John R. Wible, 22
So Let it be Written, So . . . Done
• “Review Live It Out,” (BOOK, p. 70;
Jesus calls on us to be peacemakers.
• Can we live up to that challenge?
• Which of the three numbered suggestions fits
your situation the best?
• Will you commit to carry out the action?
• Humble submission to Christ is His call to us in
all things. So when the pressure of conflict
wants us to get our way. Let’s count on His
strength, and do what Jesus says.
John R. Wible, 23
So Let it be Written, So . . . Done
John R. Wible, 24