Do you know where your ·fights [conflicts; wars] and ·arguments [disputes; quarrels; battles] come from? They come from ·the selfish desires [cravings] that war ·within you [L in your members; C probably parts of the body, but could be members of the church].
1 He reckoneth up the mischiefs that proceed of the works of the flesh. 7 He exhorteth to humility, 8 and to purge the heart 3 from pride, 10 backbiting, 14 and the forgetfulness of our own infirmity. From whence are wars and contentions among you? are they not hence, even of your pleasures, that fight in your members?
But about the feuds and struggles that exist among you—where do you suppose they come from? Can’t you see that they arise from conflicting passions within yourselves? You crave for something and don’t get it, you are jealous and envious of what others have got and you don’t possess it yourselves. Consequently in your exasperated frustration you struggle and fight with one another. You don’t get what you want because you don’t ask God for it. And when you do ask he doesn’t give it to you, for you ask in quite the wrong spirit—you only want to satisfy your own desires.
Where do you think all these appalling wars and quarrels come from? Do you think they just happen? Think again. They come about because you want your own way, and fight for it deep inside yourselves. You lust for what you don’t have and are willing to kill to get it. You want what isn’t yours and will risk violence to get your hands on it.
Where do you think your fighting and endless conflict come from? Don’t you think that they originate in the constant pursuit of gratification that rages inside each of you like an uncontrolled militia?
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