4:1 What causes quarrels and what causes fights among you? Is it not this, that your passions are at war within you? 2 You desire and do not have, so you murder. You covet and cannot obtain, so you fight and quarrel. You do not have, because you do not ask. 3 You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions. 4 You adulterous people! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God. 5 Or do you suppose it is to no purpose that the Scripture says, “He yearns jealously over the spirit that he has made to dwell in us”? 6 But he gives more grace. Therefore it says, “God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” 7 Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. 8 Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. 9 Be wretched and mourn and weep. Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom. 10 Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will exalt you. (ESV)
Friendship With the World
What does it mean to have friendship with the world? Does it mean that we should not be friends with unsaved people at work? James gives us this important principle that we need to understand so that we do not violate it or apply it in error. The world James has in mind, is not the planet earth or the people in the world. He is talking about this world’s system or society. He is not saying we should not be friends with people in the world. He is warning us however against being friendly with this world’s views and positions. The world’s philosophy says that money is number one. I am friends with the world when I believe it and make decisions based on it. The world says I should seek to be first, look out for #1. I am friends with the world when I make that my life’s philosophy. We should never support or encourage that philosophy. If we do, we stand in direct opposition to God. Friendship with this world’s system is enmity or separation from God. How friendly are you with the world? Do you allow its values to affect your decisions now and for the future? Have you adopted its goals for your own life?
Observation: What do I see?
Interpretation: What does it mean?
Application: How does it apply to me?
Implementation: What do I do?