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Chapter 1

1James, a slave of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, sends greeting to the twelve tribes that are scattered over the world.

2You must find the greatest joy, my brothers, in being involved in various trials, 3for you know that the testing of your faith leads to steadfastness, 4and steadfastness must have full play, so that you may be fully and perfectly developed without any defects.

5If any one of you is deficient in wisdom, let him ask God who gives generously to everyone, and does not reproach one with it afterward, and he will give it to him. 6But he must ask with faith, and without any doubt, for the man who doubts is like the billowing sea, driven and blown about by the wind. 7Such a man must not expect to get anything from the Lord— 8an irresolute person like him, who is uncertain about everything he does. 9A brother of low position ought to be proud of his eminence, 10but one who is rich ought to rejoice at being reduced in circumstances, for the rich will disappear like the wild flowers. 11For the sun comes up with its scorching heat and dries up the grass, and the flowers wither, and all their beauty is gone. That is the way rich men will fade and die in the midst of their pursuits.

12Blessed is the man who endures trial, for when he stands the test, he will be given the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him. 13No one should think when he is tempted that his temptation comes from God, for God is incapable of being tempted by what is evil, and he does not tempt anyone. 14When anyone is tempted, it is by his own desire that he is enticed and allured. 15Then desire conceives and gives birth to sin, and when sin is mature, it brings forth death. 16Do not be misled, my dear brothers. 17Every good gift and every perfect present is from heaven, and comes down from the Father of the heavenly lights, about whom there is no variation of changing shadow. 18Of his own accord he brought us into being through the message of truth, so that we might be a kind of first-fruits among his creatures.

19You must understand this, my dear brothers. Everyone must be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to be angry, 20for men’s anger does not produce the uprightness God wishes. 21So strip yourselves of everything that soils you, and of every evil growth, and in a humble spirit let the message that has the power to save your souls be planted in your hearts. 22Obey the message; do not merely listen to it, and deceive yourselves. 23For anyone who merely listens to the message without obeying it is like a man who looks in a mirror at the face that nature gave him, 24and then goes off and immediately forgets what he looked like. 25But whoever looks at the faultless law that makes men free and keeps looking, so that he does not just listen and forget, but obeys and acts upon it, will be blessed in what he does. 26If anyone thinks he is religious, and does not bridle his tongue, but deceives himself, his religious observances are of no account. 27A religious observance that is pure and stainless in the sight of God the Father is this: to look after orphans and widows in their trouble, and keep one’s self unstained by the world.

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