1Why do you fight and argue among yourselves? Isn't it because of your sinful longings? They fight inside you.2You want something, but you can't get it. You kill and want what others have. But you can't have what you want. You argue and fight. You don't have what you want, because you don't ask God.3When you do ask for something, you don't receive it. Why? Because you ask for the wrong reason. You want to spend your money on your sinful pleasures.4You are not faithful to God. Don't you know that to be a friend of the world is to hate God? Anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God.5Don't you know what Scripture says? The spirit that God caused to live in us wants us to belong only to God. Don't you think Scripture has a reason for saying that?6God continues to give us more grace. That's why Scripture says, “God opposes those who are proud. But he gives grace to those who are not.” (Pr 3:34)7So obey God. Stand up to the devil. He will run away from you.8Come near to God, and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners. Make your hearts pure, you who can't make up your minds.9Be full of sorrow. Cry and sob. Change your laughter to crying. Change your joy to sadness.10Bow down to the Lord. He will lift you up.11My brothers and sisters, don't speak against one another. Anyone who speaks against another believer speaks against the law. And anyone who judges another believer judges the law. When you judge the law, you are not keeping it. Instead, you are acting as if you were its judge.12There is only one Lawgiver and Judge. He is the One who is able to save life or destroy it. But who are you to judge your neighbor?
Bragging About Tomorrow
13Now listen, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city. We will spend a year there. We will buy and sell and make money.”14You don't even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? It is a mist that appears for a little while. Then it disappears.15Instead, you should say, “If it pleases the Lord, we will live and do this or that.”16As it is, you are proud. You brag about it. That kind of bragging is evil.17So when you know the good things you should do and don't do them, you sin.
English Standard Version
Warning Against Worldliness
1What causes quarrels and what causes fights among you? Is it not this, that your passions are at war within you? (Ro 7:23; 1Pe 2:11)2You desire and do not have, so you murder. You covet and cannot obtain, so you fight and quarrel. You do not have, because you do not ask.3You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions. (1Jo 5:14)4You adulterous people! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God. (Isa 54:5; Jer 2:2; Mt 6:24; Joh 15:19; 1Jo 2:15)5Or do you suppose it is to no purpose that the Scripture says, “He yearns jealously over the spirit that he has made to dwell in us”? (1Co 6:19; 2Co 6:16)6But he gives more grace. Therefore it says, “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.” (Pr 3:34; Isa 54:7; Mt 13:12; 1Pe 5:5)7Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. (Eph 4:27; Eph 6:11; 1Pe 5:8)8Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. (2Ch 15:2; Isa 1:16; Jer 4:14; La 3:57; Zec 1:3; Mal 3:7; Lu 15:20; Jas 1:8)9Be wretched and mourn and weep. Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom. (Mt 5:4)10Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will exalt you. (Isa 57:15; Mt 23:12; Lu 1:52; Jas 4:6)11Do not speak evil against one another, brothers. The one who speaks against a brother or judges his brother, speaks evil against the law and judges the law. But if you judge the law, you are not a doer of the law but a judge. (Mt 7:1; 2Co 12:20; Jas 5:9; 1Pe 2:1)12There is only one lawgiver and judge, he who is able to save and to destroy. But who are you to judge your neighbor? (Isa 33:22; Mt 10:28; Ro 14:4; Jas 5:9)
Boasting About Tomorrow
13Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit”— (Pr 27:1; Lu 12:18)14yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. (Job 7:7; Ps 102:3)15Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.” (Ac 18:21)16As it is, you boast in your arrogance. All such boasting is evil. (1Co 5:6)17So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin. (Lu 12:47; Joh 9:41; 2Pe 2:21)