13 Who is wise and understanding among you? Let them show it by their good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom. 14 But if you harbor bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast about it or deny the truth. 15 Such “wisdom” does not come down from heaven but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. 16 For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice.In many ways what James wrote is a development of what Jesus had said to his own disciples in Matthew 20:25-28
17 But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere. 18 Peacemakers who sow in peace reap a harvest of righteousness.
25 Jesus called them together and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. 26 Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, 27 and whoever wants to be first must be your slave— 28 just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
New Testament authority is power under not power over. Power under is demonstrated in humility and love. This did not mean that Jesus was just a pushover who let anything go but rather when he had to address sin in his own disciples it came from a place of love and it was received.
The people that I have consistently looked to as spiritual authorities in my life over the years have been a great example of Jesus kind of authority. They could address sin in my life and call me to account because I knew that they loved me and truly cared for me. The truth is that if you get any joy from confronting someone about sin in his or her life then you probably aren’t coming from a place of love and humility. If you are truly loving and serving the people you pastor then confrontation isn’t going to be tied to your personal success or the success of your organization but rather to the health of that believer as well as the surrounding church community.