Family Feuds. Church ugliness. Workplace battles. Neighbor wars. What causes feuds?
James 4:1 What causes quarrels and what causes fights among you? Is it not this, that your passions are at war within you? 2 You desire and do not have, so you murder. You covet and cannot obtain, so you fight and quarrel. You do not have, because you do not ask. 3 You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions.
The spark that ignites a feud is SELFISHNESS:
- “I want what I want. I’m going to get my way. I’m not going to be flexible. I don’t care about your needs, desires, or experiences. I want what you possess, and I’ll find a way to take it from you. I don’t want you to have what I cannot have. I will never forget what you did to me. I am not going to talk about. I am more important than you.”
- It is ALL about ME!
Relational tensions leading to a feud:
- Different perceptions or experiences
- Different needs and desires
- Unmet expectations
- Misinterpreted conversations or actions
Fuel the Feud: Kill the Relationship
- Be selfish: It’s all about me
- Keep secrets: It’s MY business and you have no say, so you don’t need to know about it
- Be fake: You’ll never know the real me and this tension will not be resolved by me
- Be jealous or envious: I want what you have and I am going to take it or destroy it
- Refuse to let it go: I will keep replaying the offense in my mind and will never forget what you did
- Make assumptions: I don’t have all the details, so I imagined your motives and reasons
- Exaggerate your innocence: I have been 100% wronged. I can learn or correct nothing.
- Refuse to forgive: You will never be able to make things right and I’ll make you pay for the wrong
- Stir things up: I’m going to keep TELLING you or others how I feel and I’m not going to listen
- Build an army: I don’t like that person so you should not like that person either
- Avoid the situation [Cold War]: I’m never going to be around you