James 4:15 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

James 4:15, NIV: Instead, you ought to say, 'If it is the Lord's will, we will live and do this or that.'

James 4:15, ESV: Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.”

James 4:15, KJV: For that ye ought to say, If the Lord will, we shall live, and do this, or that.

James 4:15, NASB: Instead, you ought to say, 'If the Lord wills, we will live and also do this or that.'

James 4:15, NLT: What you ought to say is, 'If the Lord wants us to, we will live and do this or that.'

James 4:15, CSB: Instead, you should say, "If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that."

What does James 4:15 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

In the previous verses, James called out declarations of what we will do in the future, without humbly admitting our dependence on God, as arrogant and foolish. Most of this chapter has been James's explanation of how arrogant self-reliance is behind much of the evil in the world. When we don't rely on God for our needs, we tend towards envy, competition, and abuse of others. Here in this verse, James shows how we should demonstrate our awareness of our dependence on God.

This is a deeper issue than simply tacking the words "if the Lord wills" onto any statement of future plans. God wants His children to willingly live in dependence on Him. The right approach includes weighing God's will before we make the plans, then relying on Him to be in control of the results. He wants us to trust Him, to allow Him to direct our course. He wants to commit ourselves first and above all to accomplishing His will, not our own