Wednesday, March 15, 2017

The Root Cause of Interpersonal Conflicts

UV 2226/10000 The Root Cause of Interpersonal Conflict
For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work.
James 3 v 16

The root cause of interpersonal conflict in families, homes as well as in the workplace and in all our relationships is some form of pride. Pride of life leads to envy, envy leads to bitterness, struggle, competition, conflict, confusion and the fruit of evil. These are the foxes that destroy the good fruit of the vineyard of our spiritual lives and sow the seed of evil. Cain’s envy of his brother Abel led him to hatch a plot to kill him. Envy takes root in the hearts of brothers in flesh as well as in spirit. Once it grows, it is like a madness that controls our human nature and makes us do what it wants. There is absolutely no point in letting in the foxes and then making efforts lifelong to tame, trap, catch or kill these little foxes. It is best to drive these out, lock, stock and barrel and root. If not we become like what we see sometimes in nature- a bad plant or weed growing from within a good plant or tree, the two roots existing side by side and producing its own fruit – both good and evil. St James uses this metaphor of the fig tree producing wild berries, fruit that is unfit to eat, a sweet spring flowing along with a salt water spring.

We cannot be partly spiritual and partly carnal. We need to have no truck with such evil. Our connection is only with the good root Jesus and not the bad root of pride, envy, bitterness. We need to have our hearts rid of envy and pride. It is not a one time cleansing but a daily and constant cleansing from within by the Holy Spirit with which we should cooperate. God is the author of peace and spiritual wisdom. We are to be wise, peaceful, gentle, reasonable, easily persuaded of good things, full of the fruit of the spirit of love, joy, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, humility and self control.
We cannot allow the sensuality, partiality, hypocrisy that prevails in this world to creep into us and take control of our hearts and our tongues. The kingdom of God is not about sensuality or seeking prominence or fame or name but of peace, joy and singing spiritual hymns in our hearts to the One who governs our hearts from moment to moment- Jesus. Many of us are content to call Jesus – King of Kings and go on to live lives as we please according to the dictates of circumstances or our own former nature. We say to ourselves unwittingly that He is King only of Kings and not of us as we are common people, ordinary people who are subject to the pulls and pressures of this life. Our former carnal nature gets resurrected from time to time even though we are supposed to have put it to death. In fact, we have only put it to sleep and it awakens at the slightest stimulus. We are to exercise kingly authority over ourselves, our thoughts, our hearts, our temper, our tongues such that we do not give any expression to anything that is not pleasing to Jesus or in conformity with His character and will. We have a priestly calling of meekness and a kingly calling of exercising authority, chiefly over ourselves so that we are meek and walking in faith and integrity like a priest. The quality of our conversation and communication is a reflection on the content and attitudes of our hearts.

Prateep V Philip

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