1What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don’t they come from your desires that battle within you?2You desire but do not have, so you kill. You covet but you cannot get what you want, so you quarrel and fight. You do not have because you do not ask God.3When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.4You adulterous people, don’t you know that friendship with the world means enmity against God? Therefore, anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God.5Or do you think Scripture says without reason that he jealously longs for the spirit he has caused to dwell in us?6But he gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says: “God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.”7Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.8Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.9Grieve, mourn and wail. Change your laughter to mourning and your joy to gloom.10Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.11Brothers and sisters, do not slander one another. Anyone who speaks against a brother or sister or judges them speaks against the law and judges it. When you judge the law, you are not keeping it, but sitting in judgment on it.12There is only one Lawgiver and Judge, the one who is able to save and destroy. But you—who are you to judge your neighbor?
Boasting About Tomorrow
13Now listen, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.”14Why, 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.15Instead, you ought to say, “If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.”16As it is, you boast in your arrogant schemes. All such boasting is evil.17If anyone, then, knows the good they ought to do and doesn’t do it, it is sin for them.
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)