Life Lesson 6: When All Is Said and Done, the Buck Stops with You!

Posted: March 20, 2013 by abestratton in Advice for the Young

Here is another great post for teens by Rick Thomas.
Life Lesson 6: If you mess up, it’s not your parents’ fault, so don’t whine about your mistakes, learn from them.

James asked an obvious question about the source of our anger.

I do not believe most Christians functionally understand the answer to his question.

I think many Christians can give you the right theological answer, but when it comes to function–their practice, they really do not understand where anger originates.

What causes quarrels and what causes fights among you? – James 4:1 (ESV)

It is one thing to know what God’s Word says in your head and it’s a wholly other matter how you live God’s Word out in your life.

Knowledge will not help you alone. It’s your practice that makes the difference (James 1:22).

Satan believes in God and has more inside knowledge about God than any of us do, but he is still the devil and his doom is sure (James 2:22).

Though you may know where your anger comes from, assuming you do, it matters not until you own your anger and change. Here is how James answered his question:

Is it not this, that your passions are at war within you? You desire and do not have, so you murder. You covet and cannot obtain, so you fight and quarrel. – James 4:1-2 (ESV)

In his first question, he uses the word causes twice. He really wants you to know the cause. If you are angry it is not because the devil made you do it or your parents made you do it. He explains his answer by asking another question.

He uses three words, which are essentially synonyms–passions, desire, covet. All three of these words mean idol. An idol is something you want more than you want God and if you don’t get what you want, you sin–in this case you become angry.

James places the cause of anger in your passions, desires, and/or coveting. Your anger is in you. You are the cause of your anger. Then you say, “But they did me wrong. They hurt me. You don’t understand.”

I say, “I do understand.” That’s why I was talking earlier about this world and the people in it not being fair. Life is not fair. We get hurt, bruised, and cast aside. Life is this way. Remember: Adam fell and we all get hurt.

Then you say, “But I have prayed to God many times to take my troubles away and they never go away.” I understand that prayer too. And so does James. That is why he added this little line at the end of his explanation of where anger comes from:

You do not have, because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions. – James 4:2-3 (ESV)

We do pray for God to do many things, some of which is to take our pain away. Sometimes God does and sometimes God does not. Sometimes God allows certain pain and heartache in our lives to help us.


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