International Children’s Bible
Faith and Wisdom
1 From James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ. To all of God’s people who are scattered everywhere in the world:
2 My brothers, you will have many kinds of troubles. But when these things happen, you should be very happy. 3 You know that these things are testing your faith. And this will give you patience. 4 Let your patience show itself perfectly in what you do. Then you will be perfect and complete. You will have everything you need. 5 But if any of you needs wisdom, you should ask God for it. God is generous. He enjoys giving to all people, so God will give you wisdom. 6 But when you ask God, you must believe. Do not doubt God. Anyone who doubts is like a wave in the sea. The wind blows the wave up and down. 7-8 He who doubts is thinking two different things at the same time. He cannot decide about anything he does. A person like that should not think that he will receive anything from the Lord.
9 If a believer is poor, he should take pride that God has made him spiritually rich. 10 If he is rich, he should take pride that God has shown him that he is spiritually poor. The rich person will die like a wild flower in the grass. 11 The sun rises and becomes hotter and hotter. The heat makes the plants very dry, and the flower falls off. The flower was beautiful, but now it is dead. It is the same with a rich person. While he is still taking care of his business, he will die.
Temptation Is Not from God
12 When a person is tempted and still continues strong, he should be happy. After he has proved his faith, God will reward him with life forever. God promised this to all people who love him. 13 When someone is being tempted, he should not say, “God is tempting me.” Evil cannot tempt God, and God himself does not tempt anyone. 14 It is the evil that a person wants that tempts him. His own evil desire leads him away and holds him. 15 This desire causes sin. Then the sin grows and brings death.
16 My dear brothers, do not be fooled about this. 17 Every good action and every perfect gift is from God. These good gifts come down from the Creator of the sun, moon, and stars. God does not change like their shifting shadows. 18 God decided to give us life through the word of truth. He wanted us to be the most important of all the things he made.
Listening and Obeying
19 My dear brothers, always be willing to listen and slow to speak. Do not become angry easily. 20 Anger will not help you live a good life as God wants. 21 So put out of your life every evil thing and every kind of wrong you do. Don’t be proud but accept God’s teaching that is planted in your hearts. This teaching can save your souls.
22 Do what God’s teaching says; do not just listen and do nothing. When you only sit and listen, you are fooling yourselves. 23 A person who hears God’s teaching and does nothing is like a man looking in a mirror. 24 He sees his face, then goes away and quickly forgets what he looked like. 25 But the truly happy person is the one who carefully studies God’s perfect law that makes people free. He continues to study it. He listens to God’s teaching and does not forget what he heard. Then he obeys what God’s teaching says. When he does this, it makes him happy.
The True Way to Worship God
26 A person might think he is religious. But if he says things he should not say, then he is just fooling himself. His “religion” is worth nothing. 27 Religion that God the Father accepts is this: caring for orphans or widows who need help; and keeping yourself free from the world’s evil influence. This is the kind of religion that God accepts as pure and good.
New International Version
Trials and Temptations
2 Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters,[a] whenever you face trials of many kinds,(F) 3 because you know that the testing of your faith(G) produces perseverance.(H) 4 Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature(I) and complete, not lacking anything. 5 If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God,(J) who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.(K) 6 But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt,(L) because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. 7 That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. 8 Such a person is double-minded(M) and unstable(N) in all they do.
9 Believers in humble circumstances ought to take pride in their high position.(O) 10 But the rich should take pride in their humiliation—since they will pass away like a wild flower.(P) 11 For the sun rises with scorching heat(Q) and withers(R) the plant; its blossom falls and its beauty is destroyed.(S) In the same way, the rich will fade away even while they go about their business.
13 When tempted, no one should say, “God is tempting me.” For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; 14 but each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own(W) evil desire and enticed. 15 Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin;(X) and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.(Y)
16 Don’t be deceived,(Z) my dear brothers and sisters.(AA) 17 Every good and perfect gift is from above,(AB) coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights,(AC) who does not change(AD) like shifting shadows. 18 He chose to give us birth(AE) through the word of truth,(AF) that we might be a kind of firstfruits(AG) of all he created.
Listening and Doing
19 My dear brothers and sisters,(AH) take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak(AI) and slow to become angry, 20 because human anger(AJ) does not produce the righteousness that God desires. 21 Therefore, get rid of(AK) all moral filth and the evil that is so prevalent and humbly accept the word planted in you,(AL) which can save you.
22 Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.(AM) 23 Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror 24 and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. 25 But whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom,(AN) and continues in it—not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it—they will be blessed in what they do.(AO)
26 Those who consider themselves religious and yet do not keep a tight rein on their tongues(AP) deceive themselves, and their religion is worthless. 27 Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after(AQ) orphans and widows(AR) in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.(AS)
- James 1:2 The Greek word for brothers and sisters (adelphoi) refers here to believers, both men and women, as part of God’s family; also in verses 16 and 19; and in 2:1, 5, 14; 3:10, 12; 4:11; 5:7, 9, 10, 12, 19.