Two Kinds of Wisdom

13 Who is wise and understanding among you? Let them show it(A) by their good life, by deeds(B) done in the humility that comes from wisdom. 14 But if you harbor bitter envy and selfish ambition(C) in your hearts, do not boast about it or deny the truth.(D) 15 Such “wisdom” does not come down from heaven(E) but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic.(F) 16 For where you have envy and selfish ambition,(G) there you find disorder and every evil practice.

17 But the wisdom that comes from heaven(H) is first of all pure; then peace-loving,(I) considerate, submissive, full of mercy(J) and good fruit, impartial and sincere.(K) 18 Peacemakers(L) who sow in peace reap a harvest of righteousness.(M)

Submit Yourselves to God

What causes fights and quarrels(N) among you? Don’t they come from your desires that battle(O) within you? You desire but do not have, so you kill.(P) You covet but you cannot get what you want, so you quarrel and fight. You do not have because you do not ask God. When you ask, you do not receive,(Q) because you ask with wrong motives,(R) that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.

You adulterous(S) people,[a] don’t you know that friendship with the world(T) means enmity against God?(U) Therefore, anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God.(V) Or do you think Scripture says without reason that he jealously longs for the spirit he has caused to dwell in us[b]?(W) But he gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says:

“God opposes the proud
    but shows favor to the humble.”[c](X)

Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil,(Y) and he will flee from you. Come near to God and he will come near to you.(Z) Wash your hands,(AA) you sinners, and purify your hearts,(AB) you double-minded.(AC) Grieve, mourn and wail. Change your laughter to mourning and your joy to gloom.(AD) 10 Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.(AE)


  1. James 4:4 An allusion to covenant unfaithfulness; see Hosea 3:1.
  2. James 4:5 Or that the spirit he caused to dwell in us envies intensely; or that the Spirit he caused to dwell in us longs jealously
  3. James 4:6 Prov. 3:34

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