According to James in the Bible (chapter 3 & 4), confusion and disorder comes from envy and selfish ambition.
Seen any of that lately?
We can evaluate our hearts by comparing them to God’s wisdom which is:
- Pure (free from contamination)
- Submissive (willing to yield to another)
- Full of mercy (kindness, compassion or forbearing) and good fruit (love, patience, etc.)
How do we measure up? Could this be the cause of our conflicts? Maybe our hearts are off.
If we seem to be in constant confusion, conflict or miscommunication, James says the problem is that we want something and don’t get it. (Trump, Clinton or my favorite flavor of ice cream?)
We look to sources other than God to get it. (My spouse, my neighbor or the local convenience store?)
Or we have wrong motives for wanting something. (My opinion, my pleasure or my way?)
So let’s ask ourselves:
- Are my motives pure or self-centered?
- Do I love being at peace or would I rather stir up trouble?
- Am I considering the other person and what will be best for them or only for me?
- Would I be willing to give up my position (even if I feel I’m right) if it would help the other person?
- Am I extending mercy to the other person?
- Am I exhibiting “good fruit” (love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control)?
- Am I impartial?
- Is my heart honest about myself and the other person?
God promises when we turn to him, and resist the temptation to serve ourselves, he will meet us. When we are humble, he lifts us up. And when we ask for wisdom, he gives it to us without thinking badly of us for asking. (James 1:5)
When we are peace makers, we end up being right with God and with others who are in our lives.
Ahh…feel the peace?
If you are willing to examine your life, what areas are your bottom three?