Materialism of Christians Addressed in James

Rebecca Graf
4 min readJul 5, 2021

We don’t fight. We don’t argue. There are no topics that cause tension between us. NOT! This is entirely fiction! James, Jesus’ brother, knew this too and had a few words to say on it.

What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don’t they come from your desires that battle within you? You want something but don’t get it. You kill and covet, but you cannot have what you want. You quarrel and fight. You do not have, because you do not ask God. When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures. (James 4:1–3 NIV)

Root of Fighting

We do fight amongst ourselves: in families, in churches, in any group. Get more than one person together and you can guarantee conflict. Someone gets their dander up and their feelings hurt. It never fails. Why do we do that? Because we desire what we can’t have.

We are so selfish and greedy. Want, want, want.. Think of how you go throughout your day and the MANY times that verbally or mentally you say, “I want...” It would surprise you. I have sat and listened to many Christian people only talking about the items that they are planning on getting and exactly how they are going to obtain them no matter how much debt they have to incur to get it: flat screen TV, new car, latest camera, new release of blackberries, club membership, new “toy”, more items from their favorite teams, more, more, more. I know I’ve done it.

We will do anything to get what we want. Think of the different ways we think of how we can accomplish that. Where can we get extra money, cut corners, or ask someone to help us?

Demands Instead of Requests

James points out that first of all we don’t ask for it. We state we want something and we go after it. We don’t ever ask. Demands are what we issue at life.

When we do ask, what is behind our request? Greed? Self-centeredness? A need to have more than others? A need to be one of the first? Most humans only want their own pleasures to be satisfied. What if you took that $1000 that you wanted to spend on the flat screen and gave it to the cancer research center? That $1000 might get them closer to preventions and cures. What if you took it…

Rebecca Graf

Writer for ten years, lover of education, and degrees in business, history, and English. Striving to become a Renassiance woman.