Passage: Come now, you who say, "Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, spend a year there, buy and sell, and make a profit"; whereas you do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away. Instead you ought to say, "If the Lord wills, we shall live and do this or that." But now you boast in your arrogance. All such boasting is evil. Therefore, to him who knows to do good and does not do it, to him it is sin.
Journal: There is an epic struggle here. On the one hand, there is the natural inclination of pride that results in the pursuit of self. On the other hand, there is an unnatural submission to the will of God that results in the pursuit of His glory. Most of the world does not struggle in the least, as a pursuit of the true God is non-existent and the pursuit of one's true self is the sole quest of life. Some of the world pays lip service to the struggle as they acknowledge a desire for God and pursue the desires of self. The struggle is over quickly for the training for the conflict is shallow and the resolve for the prize is weak. There are a few, however, that train for the struggle and fight the adversary daily. It is the well trained fighter that submits self to a much greater glory. ("Instead you ought to say, "If the Lord wills, we shall live and do this or that.") There is no room for arrogance in the attitude of submission. There is no room for submission in the attitude of arrogance. Hence, the great struggle. The unnatural pitted against the natural. The new self pitted against the true self. Again, James speaks quite practically. A child of God struggles to desire the life of a servant. Conversely, a servant to one's self desires the life chosen by Satan, and is in the constant pursuit of fool's gold.