12/2 James 3:15-16

15 This is not the wisdom that comes down from above, but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic.16 For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there will be disorder and every vile practice.

Jealousy and selfish ambition are works of the fallen nature of humanity. James is contrasting these heart attitudes with works done through the Spirit. Faith will be manifest in good works, but some people who do not have faith may become jealous of the praise given to others' expressions of faith. They will try to imitate the expressions of faith to gain positions in the church. Many times they even fool themselves into thinking they are super-spiritual. But their actions are really unspiritual and demonic.

In most cases those who are given to jealousy and selfish ambition will seek promotion and titles. Instead of being the servant of all, they want to be the leader of all. Sometimes they will tell others God has spoken to them and give orders supposedly from God. When God speaks to hearts today, it is usually to convict or encourage the individual who is hearing God and is not meant for others. The Spirit of God encourages each person into a personal relationship with Jesus. As these motivated by selfish ambition grow in influence, they will end up in conflict with the elders of the local church. This is when they bring disorder to the church. They will seek to have followers who respect them more than God's appointed elders.

James tells us that jealousy and selfish ambition are demonic. It is the opposite of the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23). Selfish ambition tears churches apart and sometimes even divides families. Beware of this nature invading your church and your own life.

Remember: The true result of faith is love and service with no desire for recognition. The fruits of the Spirit will be evident. Faith is seen in righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit.