You desire but do not have, so you kill. You covet but you cannot get what you want, so you quarrel and fight. You do not have because you do not ask God. James 4:2
Listen: James 4
James wants to identify the source of conflict as he addresses his congregation. He asks the question, “Where did that come from?” James points out that the headwaters of our anger is usually something we want—and we cannot seem to get.
Desire for something—anything—can have a stranglehold on our hearts and minds. It can turn from desire to demand. The story usually goes like this, “I want it. I’m not getting it. Someone’s going to pay.“ This might look different from person to person but usually includes our desire to be right, respected, loved, heard and cared for.
These desires are not wrong. What is wrong is when we hold these desires over God, as if our lives depend on getting them.
As we uncover the “wants” behind our anger, God invites us to trust him with our desires. He is the life-giver and the one who satisfies our core desires! He knows what we need and encourages us to ask and trust him for those things.
IN YOUR CHAIR TIME TODAY
Take a moment to journal your thoughts about three questions. Why am I angry? Identify the situation where your conflict resides. What do I really want? Identify the core desires you feel are not being met. Who am I making pay? Identify who is paying the cost for your anger. Then journal a prayer to God asking him for patience and trust in him.
Download a printable PDF of the BTW week here.