James 4 Expanded Bible (EXB)
Give Yourselves to God
4 Do you know where your ·fights [conflicts; wars] and ·arguments [disputes; quarrels; battles] come from? They come from ·the selfish desires [cravings] that war ·within you [L in your members; C probably parts of the body, but could be members of the church]. 2 You ·want [desire] things, but you ·do not [or cannot] have them. So you ·are ready to kill [L murder] and are ·jealous [envious] of other people, but you still cannot get what you want. So you argue and ·fight [wage war]. You do not get what you want, because you do not ask God. 3 Or when you ask, you do not receive because ·the reason you ask is wrong [or you ask with the wrong motives; L you ask badly/wrongly]. You want things so you ·can use [L spend] them for your own pleasures.
4 ·So, you are not loyal to God [L You adulterers!; C often adultery is used in a spiritual sense for betraying God; Jer. 3:20]! ·You should know [L Don’t you know…?] that ·loving [L friendship with] the world is ·the same as hating [L hostility/enmity toward] God. Anyone who wants to be a friend of the world becomes God’s enemy. 5 Do you think the Scripture ·means nothing that says [or says for no reason], ·“The Spirit that God made to live in us wants us for himself alone”? [or “God yearns jealously for the spirit he has made to live in us”?; or “The spirit God placed within us tends to jealously desire things”?; C for God’s jealousy for his people see Ex. 20:5; 34:14; Zech. 8:2]. 6 But God gives us even more grace, as ·the Scripture [L it; or he] says,
7 So ·give yourselves completely [submit] to God. ·Stand against [Resist] the devil [1 Pet. 5:9], and the devil will ·run [flee] from you. 8 Come near to God, and God will come near to you. You sinners, ·clean sin out of your lives [L cleanse/purify your hands; C a metaphor for cleaning up your behavior]. ·You who are trying to follow God and the world at the same time [L You double-minded ones], ·make your thinking pure [L purify your hearts; C a metaphor for cleaning up your interior life]. 9 ·Be sad [Lament], ·cry [mourn], and weep! Change your laughter into ·crying [mourning] and your joy into ·sadness [gloom; sorrow]. 10 Humble yourself in the Lord’s presence, and he will ·honor you [L exalt you; lift you up; 1 Pet. 5:6].
You Are Not the Judge
11 Brothers and sisters [C fellow believers], do not ·tell evil lies about [slander] each other [Lev. 19:16]. If you ·speak against [slander] your ·fellow believers [L a brother or sister] or judge them, you are judging and ·speaking against [slandering] the law [C because the law commanded love]. And when you are judging the law, you are no longer a ·follower [L doer] of the law. You have become a judge [C sitting in judgment over the law]. 12 ·God is the only [L There is one] ·Lawmaker [Lawgiver] and Judge. He is the only One who can save and destroy [Matt. 10:28]. ·So it is not right for you [L So who are you…?] to judge your neighbor [Lev. 19:18].
Let God Plan Your Life
13 ·Some of you say [L Come now, you who say], “Today or tomorrow we will go to some city. We will stay there a year, do business, and make money.” 14 But you do not know what will happen tomorrow! Your life is like a ·mist [vapor; puff of smoke]. ·You can see it [It appears] for a short time, but then it ·goes away [vanishes; Prov. 27:1]. 15 ·So [or Instead] you should say, “If the Lord ·wants [wills; wishes], we will live and do this or that [Matt. 6:10].” 16 But now you are ·proud [arrogant; C probably referring to their plans for the future] and you brag [boast]. All of this bragging [boasting] is wrong [L evil; wicked; 3:14]. 17 [L Therefore] Anyone who knows the right thing to do, but does not do it, ·is sinning [L for him it is sin].