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