1 What causes wars and contentions among you? Is it not the cravings which are ever at war within you for various pleasures? 2 You covet things and yet cannot get them; you commit murder; you have passionate desires and yet cannot gain your end; you begin to fight and make war. You have not, because you do not pray; 3 or you pray and yet do not receive, because you pray wrongly, your object being to waste what you get on some pleasure or another.
4 You unfaithful women, do you not know that friendship with the world means enmity to God? Therefore whoever is bent on being friendly with the world makes himself an enemy to God. 5 Or do you suppose that it is to no purpose that the Scripture says, "The Spirit which He has caused to dwell in our hearts yearns jealously over us"?
6 But He gives more abundant grace, as is implied in His saying, "God sets Himself against the haughty, but to the lowly He gives grace."
7 Submit therefore to God: resist the Devil, and he will flee from you. 8 Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and make your hearts pure, you who are half-hearted towards God. 9 Afflict yourselves and mourn and weep aloud; let your laughter be turned into grief, and your gladness into shame. 10 Humble yourselves in the presence of the Lord, and He will exalt you.
11 Do not speak evil of one another, brethren. The man who speaks evil of a brother-man or judges his brother-man speaks evil of the Law and judges the Law. But if you judge the Law, you are no longer one who obeys the Law, but one who judges it. 12 The only real Lawgiver and Judge is He who is able to save or to destroy. Who are you to sit in judgement on your fellow man?
13 Come, you who say, "To-day or to-morrow we will go to this or that city, and spend a year there and carry on a successful business," 14 when, all the while, you do not even know what will happen to-morrow. For what is the nature of your life? Why, it is but a mist, which appears for a short time and then is seen no more.
15 Instead of that you ought to say, "If it is the Lord's will, we shall live and do this or that." 16 But, as the case stands, it is in mere self-confidence that you boast: all such boasting is evil. 17 If, however, a man knows what it is right to do and yet does not do it, he commits a sin.