"What causes fights and quarrels among you? 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. You do not have because you do not ask God. When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures."
Have you ever just stopped to ponder why do people fight and quarrel? Why do children fight over toys or who is going to be the leader? Why do adults fight and quarrel over opinions, boundary lines, or sale items at the mall? Is it because one is right and the other is wrong? Is it because there will never be another red sweater for the low price of $10.00? Why do people become jealous of someone or their possessions?
The answer is indicated in this passage of scripture from James 4:1-3. "...fights and quarrels come from the desires that battle within us." Desires that reflect intentions of self fulfillment, pride; desires for attention, importance and recognition. These ungodly desires lead to covetousness, hatred, torment and sometimes violence. These types of desires also indicate an absence in a person's heart--the absence of a deep relationship with God.
When my children have fought over trivial things such as the last candy bar, a toy that has been in the closet for months or who gets to sit in a certain spot when riding, I stop them and ask them to examine the situation and their intentions. Are you fighting because you think that there will never be another Reeces' Cup made? Or because you think that the other person will break a toy and there is no replacement? Does sitting in the front seat of the car equal a ranking among passengers?
Whatever the quarrel or fight, if it rises above how you feel about someone or causes you to mistreat another person, one's motives should be examined. What are the inner desires? Do they line up with God's commands, especially regarding how we treat others?
Covetousness, quarreling, hatred and violence do not fulfill the desires that rage to have something that another person has, nor do they make the importance of a person increase. When contemptuous feelings live within a heart along with motives to torment or harm another, love is not at the base. Unbridled, negative passions in the heart will ruin relationships.