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. Chapter 4.

Friendship with the World

1 What causes conflicts and quarrels among you? Do they not spring from the aggressiveness of your bodily desires? 2 You want something which you cannot have, and so you are bent on murder; you are envious, and cannot attain your ambition, and so you quarrel and fight. You do not get what you want, because you do not pray for it. 3 Or, if you do, your requests are not granted because you pray from wrong motives, to spend what you get on your pleasures. 4 You false, unfaithful creatures! Have you never learned that love of the world is enmity to God? Whoever chooses to be the world's friend makes himself God's enemy. 5 Or do you suppose that Scripture has no meaning when it says that the spirit which God implanted in man turns towards envious desires? 6 [ Pr.3.34. ] And yet the grace he gives is stronger. Thus Scripture says, 'God opposes the arrogant and gives grace to the humble.' Be submissive then to God. 7 Stand up to the devil and he will turn and run. 8 Come close to God, and he will come close to you. Sinners, make your hands clean; you who are double-minded, see that your motives are pure. 9 Be sorrowful, mourn and weep. Turn your laughter into mourning and your gaiety into gloom. 10 Humble yourselves before God and he will lift you high.

Judging a Brother

11 Brothers, you must never disparage one another. He who disparages a brother or passes judgement on his brother disparages the law and judges the law. But if you judge the law, you are not keeping it but sitting in judgement upon it. 12 There is only one law-giver and judge, the One who is able to save life and destroy it. So who are you to judge your neighbour?

Warning against Boasting

13 A WORD WITH YOU, you who say, 'Today or tomorrow we will go off to such and such a town and spend a year there trading and making money.' 14 Yet you have no idea what tomorrow will bring. Your life, what is it? You are no more than a mist, seen for a little while and then dispersing. 15 What you ought to say is: 'If it be the Lord's will, we shall live to do this or that.' 16 But instead, you boast and brag, and all such boasting is wrong. 17 Well then, the man who knows the good he ought to do and does not do it is a sinner.

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