When Christians Fight


Friends who grew up together, shared years of memories and happy times, and witnessed each other's greatest moments no longer speak.

Church members who served, prayed, and studied together sit on opposite sides of the sanctuary, gossip, and gather their allies.

Brothers who slept in the same room and hunted fireflies and squirrels together live in the same town, but purposely avoid each other.

Husbands and wives who pledged to love, honor, and cherish punish each other with unkind words and cutting silence.

When Christians fight, it makes God sad.

It makes me sad, too.

Life is complicated. And messy. Relationships require supernatural intervention, because we are fallen and selfish.

 Sometimes fights come because of convictions--those non-negotiables that are worth dying for. There are things we should never compromise, and sometimes living out our convictions puts us in a place of conflict. But fights over convictions are few and rare. In most cases, fights begin over much less.

"What causes fights and quarrels among you?" the Apostle James asks. "Don't they come from your desires that battle within you? You want something, but don't get it. You kill and covet, but you cannot have what you want. You quarrel and fight" (James 4:1-2).

 Most of our fights find their genesis in our own selfish desires. We put ourselves and our desires first, and wound each other with hurtful words, unkind actions, and manipulative silence. Instead of taking the high road of servanthood and selflessness, we drape the mantle of self-righteousness over our prideful shoulders and plow down paths our Savior would never travel.

"Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself. . . " (Philippians 2:6-8).

What is God's cure for the selfish fighting that severs so many relationships?

"Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves.  Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others. Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus. . . " (Philippians 2:3-5).

Oh, Father, how often we wound others--people for whom you died. We lose sight of what really matters and damage precious relationships over that which is common and temporal. Help us recognize there is little on earth worth hurting another to obtain. With your Spirit's help, may we follow your example, set aside our pride, and humble ourselves. May we do everything possible to bring about reconciliation and restoration.

"If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone" (Romans 12:18).

Is there a damaged relationship in your life? Will you commit to do everything within your power to make it right?

It will make God smile.

"Behold, how good and pleasant it is for brothers to live together in unity" (Psalm 133:1).

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  1. Oh, you are spot on. Looking to our own desires. God recently opened my eyes to how I was doing this with my children. It broke my heart - the perfect way for Him to show me how I have been breaking HIS heart.

  2. Anonymous8:31 AM

    Fighting within the family is the most devastating. It breaks my heart. I see it among some of my family members and it sucks the joy right out of me. The only thing I can do is pray and hope that God will mend the fences. Your post has motivated me to pray more fervently going forward. Thank you.

  3. Very true Lori. It is sad to see Christians fight amongst themselves. It breaks God's heart... and it's so unnecessary.

  4. I just don't like fighting or gossiping. This is such a convicting post and great reminder of how not to live.

    Thanks so much for stopping over at WholeHearted Home this week to link up.

    Hope to see you again next week.

  5. Convicting post... Thank you for sharing this!