Humble Yourself Before God
(1) What causes fights and arguments among you? Aren’t they caused by your sinful passions that war within you? (2) You want something but you cannot get it, so you kill for it. You want something but you cannot get what you covet, so you argue and fight for it. You do not have because you do not ask God. (3) And when you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, so that you can spend what you get on your selfish pleasures.
(4) You unfaithful (adulterous) people, don’t you know that friendship with this world means hatred toward God? Therefore, anyone who chooses to be a friend of this world becomes an enemy of God. (5) Or do you think the Bible means nothing when it says in Exodus 20:5, “God jealously longs for the spirit that he made to dwell in us”? (6) But God gives us more grace as it is written in Proverbs 3:34, “God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.”
(7) Therefore, humble yourselves before God. Resist (stand against) the devil and he will flee from you. (8) Draw near to God and he will come near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and consecrate your hearts, you double-minded. (9) Grieve, mourn, and weep. Turn your laughter to sadness and your joy to gloom. (10) Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.
(11) My brothers and sisters, do not speak against one another. Anyone who speaks against other believers or judges them speaks against the law of Moses and judges it. When you judge the law, you are not obeying it, but sitting in judgment over it. (12) God is the only Lawgiver and Judge, and he alone is able to save or destroy. But you are merely human—who do you think you are to judge your neighbor?
Doing the Will of God
(13) Now listen, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to a city and spend a year there doing business and making money.” (14) Why are you so sure of yourself? You do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are like a cloud that appears for a little while and then disappears. (15) Instead, you should say, “If it’s the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.” (16) However, you boast in your prideful plans and all such boasting is evil. (17) Therefore, if anyone knows the right thing to do and chooses not to do it—they sin.