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You Want Something But Don't Get It

posted Oct 30, 2012, 10:43 AM by Unknown user

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. (James 4:1-2a)


Sally & I had a wonderful day planned yesterday. First, we were going to check out a new bike trail in West Des Moines. We’ve become biking enthusiasts and the Jordan Creek Trail is one we’ve never been to before. After that, we planned to see a movie that several church members recommended to us. That was the plan.


It turned out that the bike trail was more of a walking trail and not all that good for biking. We only biked for about 30 minutes, instead of the expected 2 hours. We were disappointed, but still looked forward to the movie.


Unfortunately, the volume in the theatre was so loud it was painful. We had to cover our ears, as did most of the other patrons. I figured the operator would make an adjustment, but 15 minutes into the movie, it was still like being in the front row of a rock concert.


This was when my frustration spilled over. I went looking for the manager and I found 2 young ladies who clean the theatre rooms.  With obvious irritation, I said, “It’s too loud in there. You need to turn it down.” One of the young ladies replied, “We’ll tell the manager.” I said, “Do more than that! Get the sound turned down!”


As I lumbered back to my seat, I felt like a jerk. She wasn’t responsible for the sound being too loud. Why was I so rude to her?


I think James 4 explains the reason: our desires get frustrated and so we lash out.


MY desire was for a nice day of biking, followed by a movie and pleasant dinner. When things didn’t go my way, I got angry and took it out on another person.


This is the sin nature at work. As a Christ-follower, I need to lay down MY desires and ask “what does GOD want?” For one thing, He wants me to exhibit Christ-like character when things don’t go my way. In this instance, I utterly failed to do that. By His grace, I will act differently the next time I’m frustrated in my desires.


The good news is that, after the movie, I found the young lady and apologized to her. She graciously accepted my apology and thanked me.


A painful lesson . . . with some insight into why I act the way I do sometimes.


With appreciation,


Pastor Dan