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Relational conflicts – the common denominator

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By Dave Henning / February 19, 2019

“The fact is, the common denominator in all my relational conflicts is ME.  The common denominator in all your relational conflicts is YOU!”- Andy Stanley

“What causes fights and quarrels among you?  Don’t they come from your desires that battle within you?   You desire abut do not have . . . You covet but cannot get what you want, so you quarrel and fight.  You do not have because you do not ask God.”- James 4:1-2 (NIV)

In Chapter 17 (“Confronting Jealousy”) of Enemies of the Heart, Andy Stanley reminds us that holding on to a debt maintains tension in a relationship.  Specifically, the driving force behind jealousy fuels every single relational struggle you’ll run across in your life.

Furthermore, at some point the conflict raging within you spills out on those closest to you.  Even if they’re innocent bystanders.  However, James directly and plainly identifies the source of our internal struggle in verse three of Chapter 4: “When you ask you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives.”

Most noteworthy, the word want as used by James carries the force of yearn for, lust for, or strongly desire.  So, when two people quarrel or fight about something, here’s the real issue, according to Pastor Stanley.  Two people want their way – and one’s not getting it.

In addition, Andy observes, James uses the interesting term covet in this passage.  Consequently, picture someone constantly trying to meet a need that’s impossible to achieve.  Because James wrote about desires beneath the surface that always swirl around our hearts.  And appetites, by nature, can never be fully and finally satisfied.

Today’s question: How hard do you find it to admit that the common denominator in relational conflicts = YOU?  Please share.

Tomorrow’s blog: “Appetites grow through indulgence”

About the author

    Dave Henning


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