7 Be patient, therefore, beloved, until the coming of the Lord. The farmer waits for the precious crop from the earth, being patient with it until it receives the early and the late rains. 8 You also must be patient. Strengthen your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is near. 9 Beloved, do not grumble against one another, so that you may not be judged. See, the Judge is standing at the doors! 10 As an example of suffering and patience, beloved, take the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord. 11 Indeed we call blessed those who showed endurance. You have heard of the endurance of Job, and you have seen the purpose of the Lord, how the Lord is compassionate and merciful.
12 Above all, my beloved, do not swear, either by heaven or by earth or by any other oath, but let your “Yes” be yes and your “No” be no, so that you may not fall under condemnation.”
James was expecting the second coming of Jesus at any moment, certainly in his lifetime. These verses encourage James’ audience to be patient, prepared, strong of faith as they waited.
James also seeks to minimize the risk of being left behind as he addresses the sin of standing in judgment of others. He replaces judgment with compassion and mercy, qualities that Jesus would find pleasing.
And, it should come as no surprise from someone as no-nonense as James that he emphasies one’s personal intregity. Let your “yes” be yes and your “no” be no. James believed being patient, strong of faith, non-judgmental, compassionate, merciful, and honest would all but guarantee Jesus’ approval when he returns.
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