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James 1 (Today's New International Version)

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1 James,1 a servant of God2 and of the Lord Jesus Christ, To the twelve tribes3 scattered4 among the nations: Greetings.5

Trials and Temptations

2 Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds,6 3 because you know that the testing of your faith7 produces perseverance.8 4 Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature9 and complete, not lacking anything. 5 If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God,10 who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.11 6 But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt,12 because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. 7 Those who doubt should not think they will receive anything from the Lord; 8 they are double-minded13 and unstable14 in all they do. 9 Believers in humble circumstances ought to take pride in their high position.15 10 But the rich should take pride in their humiliation--since they will pass away like a wild flower.16 11 For the sun rises with scorching heat17 and withers18 the plant; its blossom falls and its beauty is destroyed.19 In the same way, the rich will fade away even while they go about their business. 12 Blessed are those who persevere under trial,20 because when they have stood the test, they will receive the crown of life21 that God has promised to those who love him.22 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 of you is tempted when you are dragged away by your own23 evil desire and enticed. 15 Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin;24 and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.25 16 Don't be deceived,26 my dear brothers and sisters.27 17 Every good and perfect gift is from above,28 coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights,29 who does not change30 like shifting shadows. 18 He chose to give us birth31 through the word of truth,32 that we might be a kind of firstfruits33 of all he created.

Listening and Doing

19 My dear brothers and sisters,34 take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak35 and slow to become angry, 20 because our anger36 does not produce the righteousness that God desires. 21 Therefore, get rid of37 all moral filth and the evil that is so prevalent and humbly accept the word planted in you,38 which can save you. 22 Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.39 23 Those who listen to the word but do not do what it says are like people who look at their faces in a mirror 24 and, after looking at themselves, go away and immediately forget what they look like. 25 But those who look intently into the perfect law that gives freedom,40 and continue in it--not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it--they will be blessed in what they do.41 26 Those who consider themselves religious and yet do not keep a tight rein on their tongues42 deceive themselves, and their religion is worthless. 27 Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after43 orphans and widows44 in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.45
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