Against friendship with the world
1What causes wars, and what causes fightings among you? Is it not your passions that are at war in your members? 2You desire and do not have; so you kill. And you covet4.2 Or you kill and you covet and cannot obtain; so you fight and wage war. You do not have, because you do not ask. 3You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions. 4Unfaithful creatures! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God. 5Or do you suppose it is in vain that the scripture says, “He yearns jealously over the spirit which he has made to dwell in us”? 64.6: Prov 3.34.But he gives more grace; therefore it says, “God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” 7Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. 8Draw near to God and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you men of double mind. 9Be wretched and mourn and weep. Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to dejection. 10Humble yourselves before the Lord and he will exalt you.
11Do not speak evil against one another, brethren. He that speaks evil against a brother or judges his brother, speaks evil against the law and judges the law. But if you judge the law, you are not a doer of the law but a judge. 12There is one lawgiver and judge, he who is able to save and to destroy. But who are you that you judge your neighbour?
Against the presumption of the rich
13Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and get gain”; 14whereas you do not know about tomorrow. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. 15Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we shall live and we shall do this or that.” 16As it is, you boast in your arrogance. All such boasting is evil. 17Whoever knows what is right to do and fails to do what is right to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin.
Scripture quotations are from the Revised Standard Version of the Bible, copyright © 1946, 1952, 1957 and 1971 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.