5 day plan

Our Unity, God's favour

Day 2 of 5

James 3:14-16

14But if you have bitter envy and selfish ambition in your heart, don’t boast and deny the truth. 15Such wisdom does not come down from above but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. 16For where there is envy and selfish ambition, there is disorder and every evil practice.

Reflection: In this series we are looking at unity, and as you can see from today’s reading, envy and selfish ambition get in the way of unity. James makes clear that such behaviours lead to disorder and confusion, which we recognise as disunity.

The root issue in many teams comes out of these very human traits: jealousy and personal ambition. Ambition in God for him to work through us is essential to the advancement of the Kingdom, but when it is only about me building my kingdom, advancing my opportunity at the expense of someone else, the outcome is likely to be ‘disorder and every evil practice’.
How can I be sure that I am choosing Godly ambition and not selfish ambition?

It is easy for teams to become confused at this time. People are isolated. We need to guard against the breakdown of trust. Be courageous; reach out to those around you and look to God for wisdom to manage this unique time.

Prayer:Heavenly Father help me to always seek your wisdom. Shield me from envy and personal ambition. If I am caught up with such selfish desires now, reveal them to me, and help me to shake them off. Come Lord Jesus, come.

Days

James 3:1-18

Controlling the Tongue

1Not many should become teachers, my brothers, because you know that we will receive a stricter judgment. 2For we all stumble in many ways. If anyone does not stumble in what he says, he is mature, able also to control the whole body. 3Now if we put bits into the mouths of horses so that they obey us, we direct their whole bodies. 4And consider ships: Though very large and driven by fierce winds, they are guided by a very small rudder wherever the will of the pilot directs. 5So too, though the tongue is a small part of the body, it boasts great things. Consider how a small fire sets ablaze a large forest. 6And the tongue is a fire. The tongue, a world of unrighteousness, is placed among our members. It stains the whole body, sets the course of life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell. 7Every kind of animal, bird, reptile, and fish is tamed and has been tamed by humankind, 8but no one can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. 9With the tongue we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse people who are made in God’s likeness. 10Blessing and cursing come out of the same mouth. My brothers and sisters, these things should not be this way. 11Does a spring pour out sweet and bitter water from the same opening? 12Can a fig tree produce olives, my brothers and sisters, or a grapevine produce figs? Neither can a saltwater spring yield fresh water.

The Wisdom from Above

13Who among you is wise and understanding? By his good conduct he should show that his works are done in the gentleness that comes from wisdom. 14But if you have bitter envy and selfish ambition in your heart, don’t boast and deny the truth. 15Such wisdom does not come down from above but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. 16For where there is envy and selfish ambition, there is disorder and every evil practice. 17But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peace-loving, gentle, compliant, full of mercy and good fruits, unwavering, without pretense. 18And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace by those who cultivate peace.