Anyone who has children knows that spats arise between them. Maybe its their ages; maybe its just because they can. Gracie and Will will argue about the silliest things here lately. For instance, Gracie told Will he is a "toddler" the other day and Will told her "No, I'm not!", which commenced with a game of "are too"; "am not"; "are too. Mom! Tell Will he's a toddler!" Will gets very defensive about being called a toddler although I'm pretty sure he has no earthly idea what that is. And Gracie absolutely insists on getting the last word in (typical female, right?). I had gotten enough of the bickering this week while cleaning house. I looked at both of them in the eyes and asked, "Does it really matter?" They both put their heads down and quietly said, "No, ma'am."
James 4:1,3 says, "What leads to strife and how do conflicts originate among you? Do they not arise out of our sensual desires that are ever warring in your bodily members? You do not have, because you do not ask. Or you do ask and yet fail to receive, because you ask with wrong purpose and evil, selfish desires."
We often get into struggles and arguments because we try to make things happen on our own instead of simply asking that God's will be done. The second part of this passage says that even when we do ask, the reason we don't get our prayers answered is that we ask with the wrong purpose or with the wrong motives.
When we ask God to settle a matter for us and we don't get our way, it isn't because He doesn't want to bless us or because God is holding out on us. Perhaps it is because He has something better in mind and we aren't spiritually mature enough to know how to ask God for it.
Last year, our church made a complete change to our worship music and I had such difficulty with the change. (If you have read my blog for some time, you know our 3 children are all named after old hymns.) Taking away my hymnal rocked my world! Even though I consider myself young, I just couldn't deal with the change in new music style. What? No more singing "Victory In Jesus"? So I prayed for the change to go away and actually thought about changing churches. My husband had to hear my opinion every Sunday after church and so did my close friends. Then I felt the Holy Spirit whisper, "You want the music to change because YOU want it to change. You are arguing because you think your opinion is right. What matters most to me when you worship is the state of your heart; not the music you sing. Your opinion is about you, not me. So does your opinion really matter?" Whoa, Nellie! Needless to say, God got me over my need to be right and have my way and I enjoy the new music style now more than ever!
With the disagreements that we have among churches, groups, families, political parties, countries and such, I wonder if God is asking us "Does it really matter?"