THE SERVANT GENERAL
ON SERVANT LEADERSHIP
AVOIDING CONFLICTS IN COMMUNITY – 3
May 22, 2018
Today’s reading:James 4:1-10
An unfortunate reality in the Church are the conflicts between
and among the people of God, whether in parishes, organizations,
movements, congregations and even in the top hierarchy of
the Church. James says, “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?” (Jas 4:1).
Christians should be passionate, but it should be passion
to proclaim Christ and to wage war on the enemy, and not to
make war with their own brethren. Unfortunately, that is what
do Christians do? “You covet ….” (Jas 4:2a).
There are those who are envious of their brethren, for having
something they desire for themselves. It might be power or
position or acclaim. “You kill and envy ….”
(Jas 4:2b). Then out of envy they speak out against their
brethren, killing their reputation and good standing within
the community with their tongue, with lies and calumny. “You
fight and wage war.” (Jas 4:2c). Then they escalate
the conflict into a war on their brethren, not realizing that
the only enemy is the evil one.
people are “adulterers!” (Jas 4:4a). They have
broken covenant with God and with brethren in community. This
is likened to the infidelity of adultery. They have betrayed
God, their brethren, and the body of Christ of which they
are a part. As such, such actions are really serious matters
in the eyes of God.
of course we are all sinners and we have to contend with the
weakness of our flesh, that is prone to evil. “The spirit
that he has made to dwell in us tends toward jealousy.”
(Jas 4:5b). Be that as it is, God does give us the strength
to overcome, as “he bestows a greater grace” (Jas
4:6a). But we need to look to God and be humble, knowing that
on our own we cannot overcome. The leader who is envious and
ambitious is one who is proud. But here is the reality: “God
resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” (Jas
then should we do?
“Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you.”
(Jas 4:8a). There is no substitute for a deep, intimate,
personal relationship with Jesus. Jesus wants such a relationship.
But do we take the time and effort to enter into it? If
we keep our eyes fixed on Jesus, then we will not look to
inflicting harm on our brethren.
your hands, you sinners” (Jas 4:8b). Know that we
are called to holiness and Christian perfection. We are
to avoid sin.
your hearts, you of two minds.” (Jas 4:8c). We are
to be pure of mind and heart. We are to be single-minded
in our devotion to God and fidelity to our covenant.
submit yourselves to God” (Jas 4:7a). We are to submit
our lives totally to God’s dominion and care. We are
to place ourselves completely under the lordship of Jesus.
We are to follow the leadings of the Holy Spirit.
the devil, and he will flee from you.” (Jas 4:7b).
We are to know that envy and ambition are tools of the evil
one. We must not allow ourselves to be placed under his
control. Resist him and all temptations to do evil.
All the above is to be humble before God. Only in that way
can God use us in the power of His Spirit. “Humble yourselves
before the Lord and he will exalt you.” (Jas 4:10).