“For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there will be disorder and every vile practice. But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere.” James 3:16-17
Disorder, most people don’t like to be in a place of disorder. Even those who really enjoy organizing and might “like the disorder” are actually enjoying getting out of the disorder. Have you ever considered the root cause of disorder? The Bible tells us that where there is disorder there is a root of jealously or selfish ambition?
Jealousy can be defined as acting in a way that shows an envy or resentment towards someone or their achievements, possessions or perceived advantages. Selfish ambition can be defined as motivation to elevate oneself or to put one’s own interests before another’s. Jealousy comes from a place of perceived lack; selfish ambition from a place of pride.
Perceived lack causes unrest or disorder because be feel like we have to do something. That unrest may be just focusing on what others have and what we don’t have. That unrest may be complaining. That disorder may be trying to find out how or why they have what we don’t. The unrest may be visual to others or completely internal, but it is real.
Selfish ambition causes unrest, generally for all involved. The disorder can be internal plotting and scheming. It can create chaos for those who may not realize what is going on initially. Selfish ambition generally has one person trying to elevate oneself at the expense of others. It may be noticeable to others or it may come as a surprise to the victim when they see the outcome and who gets credit for it.
Wisdom can help us to see where there is jealousy and selfish ambition. Actions with wisdom will be pure on everyone’s part. People will work together in cooperation and peace towards an agreed upon common goal. Where there is disagreement, all parties involved will be able to listen to each other with reason. We can give each other mercy and seek to put others before ourselves.
If you have ever been the victim of jealousy and selfish ambition, you have experienced the disorder and vile practice that comes with it. It can wreck havoc on peace. However, when I have faced this within myself or as a victim of someone else, I have been able to turn to God and let His wisdom fill me in how to regain the peace, see the bigger picture, and move forward out of the jealousy and selfishness.