James characterized his congregation with such terms as conflicts, quarrels, fights, anger, cursing, bitter jealousy, selfish ambition, disorder, and every evil thing. The admonition we might expect to require the least emphasis in the church is the shocking reprimand that arose as a primary theme of James’ preaching. Surely, today’s church is different. No way do we need such tough confrontation in century 21, or do we?
Though my business fails, though I become unemployed, though I lose my home, though my cancer is incurable, though the stock market crashes, though my marriage ends in divorce, though my friends forsake me, though my dreams die, though my husband is murdered, though my wife runs off with another man, though my health deteriorates – yet will I worship the Lord. What if? How will you survive?
Giving up one’s rights is essential to unity within a congregation, peaceful relationships at home, and freedom from contention and squabbling and pettiness. Most every argument, quarrel and/or dispute that takes place in and around our lives is due to someone claiming a right. Jesus gave us the solution when He set aside His rights. If you miss this, then prepare yourself for a lifetime of wrangling and wrestling with others. However, it doesn’t have to be that way. Life can actually become a joy.
Christianity will almost always be at variance with the culture that surrounds it.
However, the dangers posed by our differences with society may not be nearly as
threatening to the life of the church as the dangers posed by the differences that can
and do arise between members of the church. Actually, Paul taught the believers at
Philippi how to find release from the squabbles and clashes that weighted them down
as a congregation. Your church can find relief as well.