For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work. James 3:16.
I read this verse while thinking on the terrible sin that is able to rise up within a
congregation. Infidelity, embezzlement, even murder.
James says it begins with the problems we often refer to as “petty”. Gossips and contentious people are often referred to as petty. Minor criminal acts are referred to as “petty crimes”. But James says where pettiness is tolerated, we will find “every evil work”.
But let none of you suffer as a murderer, or as a thief, or as an evildoer, or as a busybody in other men’s matters. 1 Peter 4:15.
Notice Peter mentions busybodies along side murderers, thieves and other evildoers. Busybodies are often thought of as petty persons, but they are actually trying to play God in another person’s life in Christ. This is idolatry.
In the kingdom of heaven, there can be no petty crime! This requires mercy, and the wisdom that comes from above:
But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be entreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy. James 3:17.
All things are lawful for me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but not all things edify. 1 Co 10:23.