Read: James 4:1-6
What causes quarrels and what causes fights among you? (v. 1)
I’ve been doing some significant work over the past couple of years to learn about my personality and my tendencies. I’m trying to figure out how to use some of my strengths to balance some of my weaknesses. One thing that’s become very clear to me is that I really like to be right. I see this in things like “fixing” the dishwasher after someone else loads the dishes in “wrong.” But what’s at stake if I get it wrong or if I don’t correct other people’s mistakes? Will people love me enough if I’m wrong? Will God?
Often the arguments and divisions we have about God are motivated by those same questions. If our church gets the wrong answer or goes about following God the wrong way, will God love us less? If we don’t correct other people’s theology or point out how they’re living the wrong way, will we be guilty, too? And so we fight about who’s right and divide ourselves over what it means to follow God. Challenging one another to be better followers of Christ is good, but not at the cost of separating ourselves by our own disagreements.
God’s got enough for all of us—enough grace and enough love for those who get it right, and those who get it wrong sometimes. And that’s great news since I’m pretty sure we all get it wrong some of the time. —Jen Petersen
As you pray, ask God to show you how to have grace and love for someone you think is wrong.