James 1 New Testament for Everyone (NTE)
The Challenge of Faith
1 James, a slave of God and of the Lord Jesus the Messiah, to the twelve dispersed tribes: greeting.
2 My dear family, when you find yourselves tumbling into various trials and tribulations, learn to look at it with complete joy, 3 because you know that, when your faith is put to the test, what comes out is patience. 4 What’s more, you must let patience have its complete effect, so that you may be complete and whole, not falling short in anything.
5 If any one of you falls short in wisdom, they should ask God for it, and it will be given them. God, after all, gives generously and ungrudgingly to all people. 6 But they should ask in faith, with no doubts. A person who doubts is like a wave of the sea which the wind blows and tosses about. 7 Someone like that should not suppose they will receive anything from the Lord, 8 since they are double-minded and unstable in everything they do.
The Snares of the World and the Gift of God
9 Brothers and sisters who find themselves impoverished should celebrate the fact that they have risen to this height – 10 and those who are rich that they are brought down low, since the rich will disappear like a wild flower. 11 You see, the rich will be like the grass: when the sun rises with its scorching heat, it withers the grass so that its flower droops and all its fine appearance comes to nothing. That’s what it will be like when the rich wither away in the midst of their busy lives.
12 God’s blessing on the man who endures testing! When he has passed the test, he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him. 13 Nobody being tested should say, ‘It’s God that’s testing me’, for God cannot be tested by evil, and he himself tests nobody. 14 Rather, each person is tested when they are dragged off and enticed by their own desires. 15 Then desire, when it has conceived, gives birth to sin; and when sin reaches maturity it gives birth to death.
16 Don’t be deceived, my dear family. 17 Every good gift, every perfect gift, comes down from above, from the father of lights. His steady light doesn’t vary. It doesn’t change and produce shadows. 18 He became our father by the word of truth; that was his firm decision, and the result is that we are a kind of first fruits of his creatures.
The Word that Goes to Work
19 So, my dear brothers and sisters, get this straight. Every person should be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger. 20 Human anger, you see, doesn’t produce God’s justice! 21 So put away everything that is sordid, all that overflowing malice, and humbly receive the word which has been planted within you and which has the power to rescue your lives.
22 But be people who do the word, not merely people who hear it and deceive themselves. 23 Someone who hears the word but doesn’t do it, you see, is like a man who looks at his natural face in a mirror. 24 He notices himself, but then he goes away and quickly forgets what he looked like. 25 But the person who looks into the perfect law of freedom, and goes on with it, not being a hearer who forgets but a doer who does the deed – such a person is blessed in their doing.
26 If anyone supposes that they are devout, and does not control their tongue, but rather deceives their heart – such a person’s devotion is futile. 27 As far as God the father is concerned, pure, unsullied devotion works like this: you should visit orphans and widows in their sorrow, and prevent the world leaving its dirty smudge on you.
James 1 New International Version (NIV)
1 James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ,
To the twelve tribes scattered among the nations:
Trials and Temptations
2 Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters,[a] whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3 because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. 4 Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. 5 If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. 6 But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, 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 and unstable in all they do.
9 Believers in humble circumstances ought to take pride in their high position. 10 But the rich should take pride in their humiliation—since they will pass away like a wild flower. 11 For the sun rises with scorching heat and withers the plant; its blossom falls and its beauty is destroyed. In the same way, the rich will fade away even while they go about their business.
12 Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him.
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 evil desire and enticed. 15 Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.
16 Don’t be deceived, my dear brothers and sisters. 17 Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. 18 He chose to give us birth through the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of all he created.
Listening and Doing
19 My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, 20 because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires. 21 Therefore, get rid of all moral filth and the evil that is so prevalent and humbly accept the word planted in you, which can save you.
22 Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. 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, and continues in it—not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it—they will be blessed in what they do.
26 Those who consider themselves religious and yet do not keep a tight rein on their tongues deceive themselves, and their religion is worthless. 27 Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.