1From James, a slave of God and the Lord Jesus Christ, to the twelve tribes dispersed abroad. Greetings!
Joy in Trials
2My brothers and sisters, consider it nothing but joy when you fall into all sorts of trials, 3because you know that the testing of your faith produces endurance. 4And let endurance have its perfect effect, so that you will be perfect and complete, not deficient in anything. 5But if anyone is deficient in wisdom, he should ask God, who gives to all generously and without reprimand, and it will be given to him. 6But he must ask in faith without doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed around by the wind. 7For that person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord, 8since he is a double-minded individual, unstable in all his ways.
9Now the believer of humble means should take pride in his high position. 10But the rich person’s pride should be in his humiliation, because he will pass away like a wildflower in the meadow. 11For the sun rises with its heat and dries up the meadow; the petal of the flower falls off and its beauty is lost forever. So also the rich person in the midst of his pursuits will wither away. 12Happy is the one who endures testing, because when he has proven to be genuine, he will receive the crown of life that God promised to those who love him. 13Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am tempted by God,” for God cannot be tempted by evil, and he himself tempts no one. 14But each one is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desires. 15Then when desire conceives, it gives birth to sin, and when sin is full grown, it gives birth to death. 16Do not be led astray, my dear brothers and sisters. 17All generous giving and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or the slightest hint of change. 18By his sovereign plan he gave us birth through the message of truth, that we would be a kind of firstfruits of all he created.
Living Out the Message
19Understand this, my dear brothers and sisters! Let every person be quick to listen, slow to speak, slow to anger. 20For human anger does not accomplish God’s righteousness. 21So put away all filth and evil excess and humbly welcome the message implanted within you, which is able to save your souls. 22But be sure you live out the message and do not merely listen to it and so deceive yourselves. 23For if someone merely listens to the message and does not live it out, he is like someone who gazes at his own face in a mirror. 24For he gazes at himself and then goes out and immediately forgets what sort of person he was. 25But the one who peers into the perfect law of liberty and fixes his attention there, and does not become a forgetful listener but one who lives it out – he will be blessed in what he does. 26If someone thinks he is religious yet does not bridle his tongue, and so deceives his heart, his religion is futile. 27Pure and undefiled religion before God the Father is this: to care for orphans and widows in their misfortune and to keep oneself unstained by the world.