This Week’s Main Idea:
A wise person gives counsel to others for their good. When we view others as existing to help us get what we want, we treat them as tools for our own selfish ends rather than as people made in God’s image. It is only when we recognize God’s all sufficiency, and our desperate need for His grace, that we will humbly confess the pride that is causing division between us and others.
What is the silliest fight you have gotten in lately? How long did it go on?
Wisdom is not interested in the easiest or most pragmatic solution for life’s challenges; it seeks the course of action that will bring the most glory to God and the best for our fellow man. James contrasts this with bitter jealousy and selfish ambition—attitudes that inevitably lead to quarrels and fights. Often it is the smallest and most insignificant fights that become long-term sources of strain in our lives and our relationships. Today we will look into James’s practical wisdom to see why we fight and how to stop.
Read James 3:13-4:6.
- What does it mean to be meek? Why do you think James relates meekness to wisdom?
- How have you seen selfish ambition and envy bring disorder to a community?
- Why is it important for a wise person to be impartial?
- Have you ever gotten in a fight because you said something that you shouldn’t have said?
- What cravings most often lead you into conflict?
- James talks about “friendship with the world.” What do you think he means by that?
Read James 4:7-12.
- What would it look like to be more intentional about living in humble dependence on God?
- How does cultivating a humble heart keep us away from jealousy and conflict with others?
- How can we act wisely this week in our families? Among our friends? While at our jobs?
- What helps you draw near to Christ and humble yourself before Him?
- What has God done for someone else in your life that you need to celebrate?
Suggested prayer request:
Pray that God would help you be a person known for wise conduct that brings about peace and reconciliation in the lives of others. Ask Him to help you see evidence of His grace at work in others’ lives and to joyfully celebrate it with them.
Other Scriptures to Engage with this week:
Proverbs 18:10-21; Ephesians 4:17-32; Romans 14:10-23; 2 Timothy 2:20-3:5; Hebrews 12:11-15; 2 Corinthians 12:20-13:11