What if you could solve almost all of your relational conflicts in one short sentence?
Now that’s a big claim, isn’t it?
Yeah, I know. I know I just wrote a check you don’t think I can cash and I know this sounds crazy, but I really do believe this sentence has the potential to resolve virtually all conflicts thanks to the Apostle James and a great sermon by Andy Stanley.
All right, why don’t we test my claim? But I need your help.
Please perform this exercise: I want you to think of a conflict/fight/quarrel you’ve had recently. Maybe something with your dad, roommate, husband, coworker etc.
The worse the conflict, the better. (As long as you can reminisce without punching a hole through your monitor.)
Okay, got it? Feeling anxious? Heart racing? Getting angry replaying the scene? Can’t stop thinking of zingers for your next confrontation?
All right. Perfect.
Now, here’s what’s gonna happen.
Even though I don’t know the what, why or any other details about your conflict, I’m gonna tell you why you got in that argument/fight/quarrel.
What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don’t they come from your desires that battle within you? You desire, but do not have, so you kill. You covet, but you cannot get what you want, so you quarrel and fight. (James 4:1-2)
In other words, James is saying that you experience conflict because you’re not getting what you want. That’s it.
Every conflict boils down to this one truth: You’re not getting what you want.
But they were ‘wrong’ and ‘unfair,’ and she said ‘this’ but did ‘that,’ and they just don’t get it.
I know. And you’re probably right.
But here’s the thing, even when you’re right and they are wrong, the reason you’re fighting is STILL because you aren’t getting what you want.
You want him to think ____ and he isn’t.
You want her to start doing ____ or stop doing ____.
You want them to understand you. You want him to love you. You want her to respect you.
You’re not getting what you want. That’s practically the bottom line in almost every fight and quarrel.