1 James, a bondservant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ: to the twelve tribes who are scattered over the world. All good wishes.
2 Reckon it nothing but joy, my brethren, whenever you find yourselves hedged in by various trials. 3 Be assured that the testing of your faith leads to power of endurance. 4 Only let endurance have perfect results so that you may become perfect and complete, deficient in nothing.
5 And if any one of you is deficient in wisdom, let him ask God for it, who gives with open hand to all men, and without upbraiding; and it will be given him. 6 But let him ask in faith and have no doubts; for he who has doubts is like the surge of the sea, driven by the wind and tossed into spray. 7 A person of that sort must not expect to receive anything from the Lord-- 8 such a one is a man of two minds, undecided in every step he takes.
9 Let a brother in humble life rejoice when raised to a higher position; 10 but a rich man should rejoice in being brought low, for like flowers among the herbage rich men will pass away. 11 The sun rises with his scorching heat and dries up the herbage, so that its flowers drop off and the beauty of its appearance perishes, and in the same way rich men with all their prosperity will fade away.
12 Blessed is he who patiently endures trials; for when he has stood the test, he will gain the victor's crown--even the crown of Life--which the Lord has promised to those who love Him.
13 Let no one say when passing through trial, "My temptation is from God;" for God is incapable of being tempted to do evil, and He Himself tempts no one. 14 But when a man is tempted, it is his own passions that carry him away and serve as a bait. 15 Then the passion conceives, and becomes the parent of sin; and sin, when fully matured, gives birth to death.
16 Do not be deceived, my dearly-loved brethren. 17 Every gift which is good, and every perfect boon, is from above, and comes down from the Father, who is the source of all Light. In Him there is no variation nor the slightest suggestion of change. 18 In accordance with His will He made us His children through the Message of the truth, so that we might, in a sense, be the Firstfruits of the things which He has created.
19 You know this, my dearly-loved brethren. But let every one be quick to hear, slow to speak, and slow to be angry. 20 For a man's anger does not lead to action which God regards as righteous. 21 Ridding yourselves, therefore, of all that is vile and of the evil influences which prevail around you, welcome in a humble spirit the Message implanted within you, which is able to save your souls.
22 But prove yourselves obedient to the Message, and do not be mere hearers of it, imposing a delusion upon yourselves. 23 For if any one listens but does not obey, he is like a man who carefully looks at his own face in a mirror. 24 Although he has looked carefully at himself, he goes away, and has immediately forgotten the sort of man he is. 25 But he who looks closely into the perfect Law--the Law of freedom--and continues looking, he, being not a hearer who forgets, but an obedient doer, will as the result of his obedience be blessed.
26 If a man thinks that he is scrupulously religious, although he is not curbing his tongue but is deceiving himself, his religious service is worthless. 27 The religious service which is pure and stainless in the sight of our God and Father is to visit fatherless children and widowed women in their time of trouble, and to keep one's own self unspotted from the world.