James 4:1

Submit Yourselves to God

1 What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don’t they come from your desires that battle within you?

James 4:1 in Other Translations

KJV
1 From whence come wars and fightings among you? come they not hence, even of your lusts that war in your members?
ESV
1 What causes quarrels and what causes fights among you? Is it not this, that your passions are at war within you?
NLT
1 What is causing the quarrels and fights among you? Don’t they come from the evil desires at war within you?
MSG
1 Where do you think all these appalling wars and quarrels come from? Do you think they just happen? Think again. They come about because you want your own way, and fight for it deep inside yourselves.
CSB
1 What is the source of the wars and the fights among you? Don't they come from the cravings that are at war within you?

James 4:1 Meaning and Commentary

James 4:1

From whence come wars and fightings among you?
&c.] Which are to be understood, not of public and national wars, such as might be between the Jews and other nations at this time; for the apostle is not writing to the Jews in Judea, as a nation, or body politic, but to the twelve tribes scattered abroad, and to such of them as were Christians; nor were Christians in general as yet increased, and become such large bodies, or were whole nations become Christians, and much less at war one against another, which has been the case since; and which, when it is, generally speaking arises from a lust after an increase of power; from the pride and ambitious views of men, and their envy at the happiness of other princes and states: nor do these design theological debates and disputes, or contentions about religious principles; but rather lawsuits, commenced before Heathen magistrates, by the rich, to the oppression of the poor; see ( James 2:6 ) though it seems best of all to interpret them of those stirs and bustlings, strifes, contentions, and quarrels, about honours and riches; endeavouring to get them by unlawful methods, at least at the expense of their own peace, and that of others:

[come they] not hence, [even] of your lusts that war in your
members?
as pride, envy, covetousness, ambition which, like so many soldiers, are stationed and quartered in the members of the body, and war against the soul; for in the believer, or converted man, however, there is as it were two armies; a law in the members, warring against the law of the mind; the flesh against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and from this inward war arise external ones; or at least from the corruption of nature, which militates against all that is good, all quarrels and contentions, whether public or private, of a greater or lesser nature, and consequence, spring.

James 4:1 In-Context

1 What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don’t they come from your desires that battle within you?
2 You desire but do not have, so you kill. You covet but you cannot get what you want, so you quarrel and fight. You do not have because you do not ask God.
3 When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.
4 You adulterous people, don’t you know that friendship with the world means enmity against God? Therefore, anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God.
5 Or do you think Scripture says without reason that he jealously longs for the spirit he has caused to dwell in us ?

Cross References 2