For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work.
Jealousy and strife may be what motivates us to rely on worldly wisdom, but these two have effects. They are not just things we feel; they cause things to happen.
One of the thing jealousy and selfish ambition cause is confusion. Here, confusion is not used in the sense of people not knowing what they are doing, but in the sense disorder or lack or harmony. It can be used to express the thought, “to disturb,” and is even used to describe a state of anarchy.
We see this same word used previously in James’ Epistle and it describes the same sort of situation there as well.
James 1:8 A double minded man is unstable in all his ways. Here, unstable, is the same word as unstable used in our text today.
James 3:8 But the tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison. Here, the word unruly is the same original word.
So, we can see here that our jealousy and ambition creates situations of confusion, instability, and unruliness in the body of believers. John McArthur in his commentary series gives a good list of many of the things caused by our jealousy and ambition: anger,;bitterness; resentment; lawsuits, divorce; racial, ethnic and social disorders. He says they include the absence of some things as well: love, intimacy, trust, fellowship and harmony.
In case we are unclear on how God truly feels about this situation in His churches and among His people, let us look again at something The Apostle Paul said; this time Paul was writing to a very confused Church in the city of Corinth.
1 Corinthians 14:33 For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints.
God, and His wisdom, do not produce confusion and disorder. That is the product of or own man-made, worldly wisdom.