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1JAMES, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, sends greeting to the twelve dispersed tribes.

2When all kinds of trials and temptations crowd into your lives, my brothers, don't resent them as intruders, but welcome them as friends!

3Realize that they come to test your faith and to produce in you the quality of endurance.

4But let the process go on until that endurance is fully developed, and you will find you have become men of mature character, men of integrity with no weak spots.

5And if, in the process, any of you does not know how to meet any particular problem he has only to ask Godwho gives generously to all men without making them feel guiltyand he may he quite sure that the necessary wisdom will be given him.

6But he must ask in sincere faith without secret doubts. For the man who doubts is like a wave of the sea, carried forward by the wind one moment and driven back the next.

7That sort of man cannot hope to receive anything from the Lord,

8and the life of a man of divided loyalty will reveal instability at every turn.

9The brother who is poor may be proud because God has raised him to the true riches.

10The rich may be proud that God has shown him his spiritual poverty. For the rich man will wither away like summer flowers.

11One day the sunrise brings a scorching wind; the grass withers at once and so do all the flowersall that lovely sight is destroyed. Just as surely will the rich man and all his ways fall into the blight of decay.

12The man who patiently endures the temptations and trials that come to him is the truly happy man. For once his testing is complete he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to all who love him.

13A man must not say when he is tempted, "God is tempting me." For God cannot be tempted by evil, and does not himself tempt anyone.

14No, a man's temptation is due to the pull of his own inward desires, which greatly attract him.

15It is his own desire which conceives and gives birth to sin. And sin when fully grown produces death

16make no mistake about that, brothers of mine!

17But every good endowment and every complete gift must come from above, from the Father of all lights, with whom there is never the slightest variation or shadow of inconsistency.

18By his own wish he made us his own sons through the Word of truth, that we might be, so to speak, the first specimens of his new creation.

19Knowing this, then, dear brothers, let every man be quick to listen but slow to use his tongue, and slow to lose his temper.

20For man's temper is never the means of achieving God's true goodness.

21Have done, then, with impurity and every other evil which overflows into the lives of others, and humbly accept the message that God has planted in your hearts, and which can save your souls.

22Don't only hear the message, but put it into practice; otherwise you are merely deluding yourselves.

23The man who simply hears and does nothing about it is like a man catching the reflection of his natural face in a mirror.

24He sees himself, it is true, but he goes off without the slightest recollection of what sort of person he saw in the mirror.

25But the man who looks into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and makes a habit of so doing, is not the man who hears and forgets. He puts that law into practice and he wins true happiness.

26If anyone appears to be "religious" but cannot control his tongue, he deceives himself and we may be sure that his religion is useless.

27Religion that is pure and genuine in the sight of God the Father will show itself by such things as visiting orphans and widows in their distress and keeping oneself uncontaminated by the world.

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