KJV Below (Link to NIV)
13 Go to now, ye that say, To day or to morrow we will go into such a city, and continue there a year, and buy and sell, and get gain:
14 Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.
15 For that ye ought to say, If the Lord will, we shall live, and do this, or that.
16 But now ye rejoice in your boastings: all such rejoicing is evil.
17 Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.
A lot of times in the past, I’ve read verses 13-15 here without verses 16 or 17. However, I think it’s important to keep these together. Too easily this could fall into a legalism or “magic charm” we say before we make plans. That is to miss the point. James is simultaneously calling us to remember the meaninglessness of a life lived for this world only and the higher calling upon the Christian (a life not of this world, but of a coming Kingdom). Thus our actions should not be about ourselves, but about God and his Kingdom. It’s pretty hard to not take God’s Kingdom into account with our actions when we firs acknowledge that our very lives are continuing only by God’s will.
On a daily basis do you think first about how your actions are part of God’s plan, or how they are part of your plan? Do you make plans that fail to take into account others, or do you try to honor God by loving Him and others?