One of the most validating things about God and his word is that it works. God loves to give his kids solutions. We usually have to wait a bit to see the result of our actions. But every action in life has an accompanying reaction. And when we get a clear picture of the effect of something, we can then go straight to the cause of that very thing. That's the picture we get in James. We see both the cause and effect of something that create an absolute mess. God gave us a statement through James that is incredibly didactic. "For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there will be disorder and every vile practice."
God has never been more clear. If we work this problem backwards we can see the origin of destruction and work to remedy the situation. The effect is truly nasty. We don't need the Greek words for "disorder and every vile practice". Disorder paints a picture of chaos. Emotional, relational, spiritual and many more areas of our lives can lose all order and the world feels like it's coming unhinged. Then there's something more sinister. "Every evil practice", is humanity at its very worst. This is any action that brings harm to someone. It's the commonly practiced evil that tears away at imperfect, yet undeserving, people. Gossip, embellishment, slander, betrayal of confidence, and any other vice that tears people down, is just pure evil.
But what drives this crazy behavior? "Jealousy and selfish ambition", is all it takes to tear a person apart, an organization apart, or even tear our nation apart. This is where the guessing ends. If we see "disorder and every evil practice", it can surely be traced to "jealousy and selfish ambition". What this gives us is two practical insights: 1. Don't worry about jealous people, they'll come unwound soon enough and others will see it. You don't have to say a thing. 2. When we see lack of order and evil creeping into our life and relationships, we need to take an honest look and confess any jealousy or self focused ambition in our own lives.
The cause and effect are clear. Maybe you need to keep your head down and mouth shut while the consequences of someone's jealousy comes to fruition. Or maybe you need to take a look for any jealousy in your own life before is steals your joy. Either way, it's God's work of grace. Let him have all of us, so we can have all that is in him.