James, a slave of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, to the twelve tribes in the dispersion, greetings. Consider it all joy, my brothers, when you encounter various trials, for you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. And let perseverance be perfect, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. But if any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God who gives to all generously and ungrudgingly, and he will be given it. But he should ask in faith, not doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed about by the wind. For that person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord, since he is a man of two minds, unstable in all his ways.
And the apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith.” The Lord replied, “If you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you would say to (this) mulberry tree, ‘Be uprooted and planted in the sea,’ and it would obey you. “Who among you would say to your servant who has just come in from plowing or tending sheep in the field, ‘Come here immediately and take your place at table’? Would he not rather say to him, ‘Prepare something for me to eat. Put on your apron and wait on me while I eat and drink. You may eat and drink when I am finished’? Is he grateful to that servant because he did what was commanded? So should it be with you. When you have done all you have been commanded, say, ‘We are unprofitable servants; we have done what we were obliged to do.'”
We expect from others what we won’t do ourselves. We go to a restaurant, hotel, or store and expect attentive service, respect, and special treatment. Yet, in our own work and life we try to get away with doing the least we can. If we ask God for wisdom, we should not expect a guide on how to be rich, famous, and popular. Rather we should expect the wisdom of the cross, the wisdom of humility, and the wisdom of self-sacrifice.
Lord, have mercy on us and save us.
condescending to become one of us,
you humbled yourself and came down to earth.
Stretch forth your merciful right hand upon us,
that it may protect us from the enemy,
now and forever.