Speak not evil one of another, brethren. He that speaketh evil of his brother, and judgeth his brother, speaketh evil of the law, and judgeth the law: but if thou judge the law, thou art not a doer of the law, but a judge.
There is one lawgiver, who is able to save and to destroy: who art thou that judgest another?
Go to now, ye that say, To day or to morrow we will go into such a city, and continue there a year, and buy and sell, and get gain:
Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.
For that ye ought to say, If the Lord will, we shall live, and do this, or that.
But now ye rejoice in your boastings: all such rejoicing is evil.
Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.
Do verses thirteen through seventeen mean that we should not plan for the future? There are some who teach that these verses suggest that. A closer examination of this section, however, reveals a very different perspective. James’ point is that there are many people who make plans for their future without ever considering God and what He might have planned for them. They have decided what to do after their contract ends, whether to join an activity, or pursue a certain girl/guy – without ever considering what God would have them do. James is making the point here that we do not know what will happen tomorrow, so how can we make plans without God? Instead of making our own plans, we should seek His direction for our lives. Verse seventeen takes it even a step further. To make plans without considering God is not only a bad idea; it is sin. Further, the one who knows that he ought to seek God’s direction and doesn’t do it, sins. Not to seek what God wants you to do in any decision you make is to sin. What plans are you considering? Have you sought God’s direction? Why not ask Him about it!
Observation: What do I see?
Interpretation: What does it mean?
Application: How does it apply to me?
Implementation: What do I do?