1 From James, servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ. Greetings to the twelve tribes of the Dispersion.
2 My brothers, consider it a great joy when trials of many kinds come upon you,
3 for you well know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance, and
4 perseverance must complete its work so that you will become fully developed, complete, not deficient in any way.
5 Any of you who lacks wisdom must ask God, who gives to all generously and without scolding; it will be given.
6 But the prayer must be made with faith, and no trace of doubt, because a person who has doubts is like the waves thrown up in the sea by the buffeting of the wind.
7 That sort of person, in two minds,
8 inconsistent in every activity, must not expect to receive anything from the Lord.
9 It is right that the brother in humble circumstances should glory in being lifted up,
10 and the rich in being brought low. For the rich will last no longer than the wild flower;
11 the scorching sun comes up, and the grass withers, its flower falls, its beauty is lost. It is the same with the rich: in the middle of a busy life, the rich will wither.
12 Blessed is anyone who perseveres when trials come. Such a person is of proven worth and will win the prize of life, the crown that the Lord has promised to those who love him.
13 Never, when you are being put to the test, say, 'God is tempting me'; God cannot be tempted by evil, and he does not put anybody to the test .
14 Everyone is put to the test by being attracted and seduced by that person's own wrong desire.
15 Then the desire conceives and gives birth to sin, and when sin reaches full growth, it gives birth to death.
16 Make no mistake about this, my dear brothers:
17 all that is good, all that is perfect, is given us from above; it comes down from the Father of all light; with him there is no such thing as alteration, no shadow caused by change.
18 By his own choice he gave birth to us by the message of the truth so that we should be a sort of first-fruits of all his creation.
19 Remember this, my dear brothers: everyone should be quick to listen but slow to speak and slow to human anger;
20 God's saving justice is never served by human anger;
21 so do away with all impurities and remnants of evil. Humbly welcome the Word which has been planted in you and can save your souls.
22 But you must do what the Word tells you and not just listen to it and deceive yourselves.
23 Anyone who listens to the Word and takes no action is like someone who looks at his own features in a mirror and,
24 once he has seen what he looks like, goes off and immediately forgets it.
25 But anyone who looks steadily at the perfect law of freedom and keeps to it -- not listening and forgetting, but putting it into practice -- will be blessed in every undertaking.
26 Nobody who fails to keep a tight rein on the tongue can claim to be religious; this is mere self-deception; that person's religion is worthless.
27 Pure, unspoilt religion, in the eyes of God our Father, is this: coming to the help of orphans and widows in their hardships, and keeping oneself uncontaminated by the world.