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Envying and strife can eat away at your heart even if no one sees it manifested outwardly in your life. Let’s take a look at these verses in James and see what the Lord shows us today.
Let’s dig right in!!
Digging Deeper: James 3:13-18
Key Verse: But if ye have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, glory not, and lie not against the truth. James 3:14
Do You Have Envying and Strife in Your Heart?
We all put on our best ‘face’ and smile and talk sweetly to our friends and people we meet. It is just the right thing to do.
But once you walk in the door of your home, what face do you show your family?
I’ll have to be honest. Sometimes after having a wonderful time, I would walk into my home and see everything that needed to be done and everything the children hadn’t done!
Toys and school books would be scattered.
Dirty dishes filled the sink.
Gravel was tracked into the kitchen from outside.
Sooner than you know, the kids were out-of-sorts!!
I had to learn some lessons that the Holy Spirit taught me. The best lessons are the ones when we are taught of the Lord. It is so much harder when I had to learn those lessons through my husband.
I had to learn that it was my sharp words that affected the whole atmosphere of my home. I so wanted to be wholeheartedly peaceful and loving but too often the air became tense because of me.
Even when I managed to keep my mouth shut, my spirit would be transferred to the others in the room and strife would ensue.
Now that you know that I have struggled too, I want you to be honest with yourself as we look at these 6 short verses tucked away in the middle of the book of James.
Read James 3:13-18 thoughtfully and prayerfully.
Does this resonate with you? This is a humbling passage because unless you totally have it together, you probably struggle sometimes. At least I do!
There are only six verses in this passage but they are packed with wisdom that will help you to wholeheartedly live peaceably in your home.
Who is a wise man and endued with knowledge among you? let him shew out of a good conversation his works with meekness of wisdom. James 3:13
This verse shows how we should be living.
Strife in Your Heart
I am sure you are a wise woman or at least learning and desiring to become one. We are to show our faith through our works. It is through our conversation that you show what is in your heart.
But if ye have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, glory not, and lie not against the truth. James 3:14 (KJV)
I am giving you a comparison between the King James Version (my favorite) and the New King James Version.
But if you have bitter envy and self-seeking in your hearts, do not boast and lie against the truth. James 3:14
I had to realize that my spirit showed what was in my heart, even if I didn’t say a word. Bitter envying and strife can be in your heart before anything comes out of your mouth.
- Be sober about it. This is a serious matter. That is why it says, ‘glory not.’
- Be honest. If the truth is that you have strife in your heart, just be truthful about it being there.
Envying in Your Heart
Just thought that the definition of envy sheds an interesting light on the subject!!
Envy: is a feeling of discontented or resentful longing aroused by someone else’s possessions, qualities, or luck.
As a woman, I often don’t have confidence and it is constantly a temptation to compare myself with others.
Do you do this?
We should never compare ourselves to another woman but have our identity in Christ.
On the outside, our friend might seem to have a beautiful house that is all sparkling clean and decluttered. She dresses in a way that we wish we could too.
We need to ask God to help us be content in our circumstances, belongings, family, friends or we might end up resentful.
Does this ring a bell? Think envying and then wouldn’t that lead to strife?!
I want to encourage you to take these thoughts into captivity so that they don’t end up coming out as envy.
There is nothing good about envying and strife. It isn’t godly. It is earthly and totally evil. Let’s clean it all out of our life with the blood of Jesus!!
Walking in Meekness and Wisdom
I am using the King James Version here but if you click on the reference it will give you the NKJV if you find that easier to understand.
But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy. And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace. (James 3:17-18)
These last two verses sum up this passage perfectly.
These are the qualities that I want the Holy Spirit to work in me with my interactions with my husband, children, and others.
- Easy to be entreated (when someone asks us for earnestly or anxiously asks us to do something)
- Full of mercy
- Good fruits
- Without partiality
- Without hypocrisy
- Fruit of righteousness
- Sowing in peace
I know that this might have dug deeper into your heart than you may have wanted to go.
Maybe you don’t have this issue with envy or strife in your life. Praise God! You might know someone who would be encouraged by this discussion and this might encourage her.
What other ways is God speaking to your heart through these verses?
Get your Journaling Through James Workbook by Judith Kowles and give yourself grace in the fails of mom-life!