Things to Avoid

[a]What is the source of quarrels and (A)conflicts among you? [b]Is not the source your pleasures that wage (B)war in your members? You lust and do not have; so you (C)commit murder. You are envious and cannot obtain; so you fight and quarrel. You do not have because you do not ask. You ask and (D)do not receive, because you ask [c]with wrong motives, so that you may spend it [d]on your pleasures. You (E)adulteresses, do you not know that friendship with (F)the world is (G)hostility toward God? (H)Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God. Or do you think that the Scripture (I)speaks to no purpose: “[e]He [f]jealously desires (J)the Spirit which He has made to dwell in us”? But (K)He gives a greater grace. Therefore it says, “(L)God is opposed to the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” (M)Submit therefore to God. (N)Resist the devil and he will flee from you. (O)Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. (P)Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and (Q)purify your hearts, you (R)double-minded. (S)Be miserable and mourn and weep; let your laughter be turned into mourning and your joy to gloom. 10 (T)Humble yourselves in the presence of the Lord, and He will exalt you.

11 (U)Do not speak against one another, (V)brethren. He who speaks against a brother or (W)judges his brother, speaks against (X)the law and judges the law; but if you judge the law, you are not (Y)a doer of the law but a judge of it. 12 There is only one (Z)Lawgiver and Judge, the One who is (AA)able to save and to destroy; but (AB)who are you who judge your neighbor?

13 (AC)Come now, you who say, “(AD)Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, and spend a year there and engage in business and make a profit.” 14 [g]Yet you do not know [h]what your life will be like tomorrow. (AE)You are just a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away. 15 [i]Instead, you ought to say, “(AF)If the Lord wills, we will live and also do this or that.” 16 But as it is, you boast in your [j]arrogance; (AG)all such boasting is evil. 17 Therefore, (AH)to one who knows the [k]right thing to do and does not do it, to him it is sin.

Footnotes

  1. James 4:1 Lit From where wars and from where fightings
  2. James 4:1 Lit Are they not from here, from your
  3. James 4:3 Lit wickedly
  4. James 4:3 Lit in
  5. James 4:5 Or The spirit which He has made to dwell in us lusts with envy
  6. James 4:5 Lit desires to jealousy
  7. James 4:14 Lit Who do not
  8. James 4:14 Or what will happen tomorrow. What kind of life is yours?
  9. James 4:15 Lit Instead of your saying
  10. James 4:16 Or pretensions
  11. James 4:17 Or good

Submit Yourselves to God

What causes fights and quarrels(A) among you? Don’t they come from your desires that battle(B) within you? You desire but do not have, so you kill.(C) You covet but you cannot get what you want, so you quarrel and fight. You do not have because you do not ask God. When you ask, you do not receive,(D) because you ask with wrong motives,(E) that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.

You adulterous(F) people,[a] don’t you know that friendship with the world(G) means enmity against God?(H) Therefore, anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God.(I) Or do you think Scripture says without reason that he jealously longs for the spirit he has caused to dwell in us[b]?(J) But he gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says:

“God opposes the proud
    but shows favor to the humble.”[c](K)

Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil,(L) and he will flee from you. Come near to God and he will come near to you.(M) Wash your hands,(N) you sinners, and purify your hearts,(O) you double-minded.(P) Grieve, mourn and wail. Change your laughter to mourning and your joy to gloom.(Q) 10 Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.(R)

11 Brothers and sisters, do not slander one another.(S) Anyone who speaks against a brother or sister[d] or judges them(T) speaks against the law(U) and judges it. When you judge the law, you are not keeping it,(V) but sitting in judgment on it. 12 There is only one Lawgiver and Judge,(W) the one who is able to save and destroy.(X) But you—who are you to judge your neighbor?(Y)

Boasting About Tomorrow

13 Now listen,(Z) you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.”(AA) 14 Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.(AB) 15 Instead, you ought to say, “If it is the Lord’s will,(AC) we will live and do this or that.” 16 As it is, you boast in your arrogant schemes. All such boasting is evil.(AD) 17 If anyone, then, knows the good they ought to do and doesn’t do it, it is sin for them.(AE)

Footnotes

  1. James 4:4 An allusion to covenant unfaithfulness; see Hosea 3:1.
  2. James 4:5 Or that the spirit he caused to dwell in us envies intensely; or that the Spirit he caused to dwell in us longs jealously
  3. James 4:6 Prov. 3:34
  4. James 4:11 The Greek word for brother or sister (adelphos) refers here to a believer, whether man or woman, as part of God’s family.

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