The Root of the Problem

Monday, February 2, 2015

What is causing the quarrels and fights among you? Don’t they come from the evil desires at war within you?—James 4:1

I think we could safely say that so many of the problems we deal with are because of our selfish human natures. Selfishness is at the root of many sins.

It is amazing how even little children have this trait. Have you ever noticed when two children are playing and one child doesn’t care about a certain toy until the moment the other child picks it up? Suddenly both children want it. They scream and pull, and they will destroy the toy in the process. It’s all because one child wants what the other has. That is just human nature. We are born that way, and we carry this trait with us through life.

James pointed out, “What is causing the quarrels and fights among you? Don’t they come from the evil desires at war within you?” (James 4:1). That’s really it. We want our own way.

How many problems in our society are because of selfishness? When marriages are falling apart, by and large, it is because of selfishness. People have sex before marriage because of selfishness. At the root of adultery is selfishness. Name a problem, and for the most part you will find selfishness rearing its ugly head.

Paul urged the believers at Philippi, “Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves” (Philippians 2:3). So don’t be controlled by selfishness.

Dwight L. Moody once said, “I have more trouble with D. L. Moody than with any other man I’ve ever met.” As Moody recognized, it’s our obsession with ourselves that is at the root of our problems.

We need to constantly ask the Lord to transform and change us. I know I have a long way to go. And guess what? I know you have a long way to go, too. We all do.

Radio Program: “So What? — III”
TV Program: “Satisfaction for the Spiritually Thirsty”

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Used by permission from Harvest Ministries with Greg Laurie, PO Box 4000, Riverside, CA 92514.

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