At home, work, or church conflict happens. It is not pretty. It is not desired. It causes riffs in our community, but it happens. With all the negative consequences, we wonder how can we keep conflict out? James offers the answer in his epistle. For the next four posts, I hope to provide some of James’ wisdom.
How Do We Avoid Conflict?
(1) Don’t promote yourself as wise.
Wise men don’t promote themselves as wise. They are given the title. James 3:13 says,
“Who is wise and understanding among you? By his good conduct let him show his works in the meekness of wisdom.”
Apparently, some in James’ church claimed the status of wise man. They did so because they desired to lead the community. Knowing the leaders and teacher are wise men, they heralded themselves as wise in order to obtain the position.
James, however, tells us wise men are discovered through observation. Their good conduct and humility attest to their wisdom. As they follow the Lord, living according to His word in humility, serving others instead of themselves, they are recognized as wise.
Wise men recognize promoting themselves leads to conflict. Especially, if all or part of the community doesn’t agree, or if there is someone else promoting themselves. Those two are sure to butt heads causing unwanted conflict.
So then, the answer to avoiding conflict is to not promote ourselves, but let others recognize our wisdom through our actions.
The next post in this series suggests we can avoid conflict by killing the passions within.
Question for Reflection
- Do you do say things in order to promote yourself as wise?