THE LETTER OF
1 James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, to the twelve tribes who are scattered abroad: Greetings.
2 Count it all joy, my brothers, when you experience various trials, 3 because you know that the testing of your faith produces endurance. 4 And let endurance have its full effect, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. 5 If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given to him. 6 But he must ask in faith without doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, driven by the wind and tossed about. 7 That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. 8 A double-minded man is unstable in all his ways.
9 The lowly brother should rejoice in being exalted, 10 and the rich man should rejoice in being made low, because he will pass away like a flower of grass. 11 For the sun rises with its scorching heat and withers the grass, and its flower falls, and the beauty of its appearance perishes. So also will the rich man fade away in his pursuits.
Blessed is the man who endures temptation, for when he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life, which *
the Lord has promised to those who love him. 13
No one should say when he is tempted, “I am being tempted by God,” for God is not tempted by evil, and he himself tempts no one. 14
But each person is tempted when he is drawn away and enticed by his own evil desires. 15
And when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin. And when sin is fully grown, it brings forth death.
16 Do not be deceived, my beloved brothers. 17 Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning. 18 Of his own will he gave us birth by the word of truth so that we would be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures.
So then, my beloved brothers, everyone should be swift to hear, slow to speak, and slow to anger. 20
For the anger of man does not bring about the righteousness of God. 21
Therefore, putting aside all filthiness and rampant wickedness, humbly receive the implanted word, which is able to save your souls.
But be doers of the word and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. 23
For if anyone is a hearer of the ‡
word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks at his face in a mirror. 24
For he looks at himself and goes away, and then immediately forgets what he looks like. 25
But he who looks into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and abides by it, §
is not a forgetful hearer but a doer who acts. He will be blessed in what he does.
If anyone *
among you considers himself to be religious but does not bridle his tongue, he deceives himself and his religion is worthless. 27
Pure and undefiled religion before God our Father is this: to look after orphans and widows in their affliction and to keep oneself unstained by the world.