Disorder or Peace

Posted 4/6/24

James 3:16 “For where envying and strife is, there is confusion (disorder, tumult, unquietness) and every evil work.” 

Contrast that with “the wisdom that is from above (God’s wisdom)” in verse 17 which “is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, . . . .” 

Envying and strife are twin sins that don’t require much explanation.  We are too often comfortable and familiar with both.

Teenage girls using their tacit acceptance or rejection as a weapon, and teen boys constantly trying to one up each other.

Disgruntled parents who stand outside the school in the parking lot or pick up line sharing all of their personal unhappiness and hurt feelings trying to find other parents to agree with them

Employees who grow disillusioned or bitter because someone else was given a role or a title that they felt they deserved or that the co-worker didn’t.

Our culture is full of envying and strife; both feature centrally in so much of our music and entertainment creations. It is a commonality of the human experience.

With them, come lives and a society full of confusion, disorder, tumult, and unquietness.  Lives that become the norm for the chronically unhappy and stressed who experience, at best, shallow relationships.

Please take time to read Disorder and Every Evil Work from The Palest Ink.  She shares her experience learning how people use each other and then how she has taught her daughter how to recognize and avoid these traps in her life.  If you have or will have a teen daughter, I would bookmark and share this one repeatedly.  I will be reading and discussing with my 13 year old daughter.

“Today, wage personal war on the sins of envy and selfishness. They have no place in the Christian’s heart. Look to Christ to satisfy all of your desires. Do not pursue friendship with darkness, where disorder and every vile practice rule the day.”

I have always been struck by Peter’s words in II Peter 2:3a as he warns against false prophets: “And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you:”  

Human nature tends toward using others for our own benefit or profit.  Consumerism and merchandise. Products to be consumed.

What then can we do?  Is there any hope? In Philippians 2, we are given the answer:

Be like Jesus.

Verses 3-5: “Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.  Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.  Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:”

The word “let” means we have a choice.

Verse 7: “But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant,. . . .” 

How different would our lives and, by proxy, our world be if we would each learn to think like Christ in every relationship action:

  • Asking ourselves, “How can I serve this person in this interaction?” 
  • Praying, “Father, help me love them the way you love them.”
  • Thinking about how our words will either hurt or help before speaking.

This Wisdom from above, the mind of Christ, is the only way we will ever be able to know true peace instead of disorder.