The Outcome of Jealousy
“You want what you don’t have, so you scheme and kill to get it. You are jealous of what others have, but you can’t get it, so you fight and wage war to take it away from them. Yet you don’t have what you want because you don’t ask God for it.”
James 4:2 NLT
Thoughts of war have been going through my mind recently, and some of the reasons for the current conflicts and tensions in the world are exactly what James talks about in the verse above. Wars can be fought for ideological reasons, but an astounding number have been fought out of sheer jealousy.
One country has valuable resources that another doesn’t, so untold thousands of people on either side of a war die to get or defend them. Perhaps a country has seaports that another country is lacking, so a war is fought to take over land and move borders. One nation has a booming economy while another’s is stagnating; let’s cut them down to size by draining their resources with a war. A group of people is more prosperous or just different-looking than another; genocide will solve that problem.
It’s been going on since Old Testament times and continues to this day. Will humanity ever learn?
I wonder how many wars since the dawn of time could have been avoided if the human trait of jealousy didn’t exist. If leaders would look to God for a solution to a need, they might find that compromise, commerce, and cooperation are more successful strategies than endless wars.
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