“Make Peace not War” – James 3:13-4:12  Part 2 (Please read part 1 first.)

“But if you have bitter envy and self-seeking in your hearts, do not boast and lie against the truth” (James 3:14).

  • Bitter Envy = desiring the position, power, praise, or possessions of another individual.

The sad and most wasteful thing about bitter envy is that it keeps the follower of Jesus from fulfilling his true calling in Jesus. Think about it this way. God gives each follower of Christ a spiritual gift by the power of the Holy Spirit (I Corinthians 12:7), and each person has a unique set of natural gifts and experiences. In others words there is only one you! If by envy you are trying to obtain what God has for someone else, then you will forfeit what God has specifically laid out for you.  In other words it is possible through envy to miss your calling in life.

  • Self-Seeking = desiring to be the one who ultimately benefits from the actions done rather than God and our neighbors.

Motivation is so important in living a life that pleases God. Often times our “efforts for God” hide our true desire to gain benefit from the situation. Brothers and Sisters this should not be the case. God’s love for us should be motivation enough to respond in kind. The problem is that we have inherited our self-seeking nature through Adam’s sin. When you were a small child and playing with other children, no one had to teach you to be selfish. No one had to teach you to grab the best toy, and no one had to teach you to throw a fit when you didn’t get your way. You came by your self-seeking ways from the get go. In fact you had to be taught to share and threatened with punishment if you did not.

Left to our own devices we will not to be anything but self-seeking. We must have a new life in Jesus and walk according to the power of the Holy Spirit in order to have the best kind of life. Religious programs and things done in your own strength may have an appearance of “good conduct,” but they will ultimately result in a heart full of pride happy with its own accomplishments. I cannot say enough that without God’s help and power any attempt at living for Him is futile.

May God help us today to walk in the power of His Spirit…to put bitter envy and self-seeking away and enjoy the kind of life God truly intends for us!