Can you name five people with whom you genuinely get along? Perhaps you have a great deal in common with them, or you’ve shared many wonderful experiences together. Your friendship runs deep below the surface in these trusted relationships. Now think of five people with whom you do not get along (for many, this list is much easier to construct!). Perhaps you’ve had conflict in the past or personality clashes. For one reason or another you find it very hard to get along and life is better when you just don’t associate.
James was writing to believers who did not always find it easy to get along. There were pockets of disunity, arguments, disagreements, criticisms, and personal attacks taking place among these believers. Isn’t it refreshing to realize that the early church did not have it all together? Furthermore, because they didn’t have it all together, you and I are privileged to have James’ words of admonishment to a group of believers who struggled with getting along much like we sometimes do today. His words go to the heart of the problem and address what is probably the most basic human sin: Pride.