The epistle of James can be understood as belonging to the literary genre of the wisdom literature of Israel. Written by a Messianic Jew, intended most probably for Messianic Jewish congregations beyond Palestine, it reflects Jewish thought patterns throughout. The overarching wisdom theme of the book: external behavior reveals the condition of the inner life.
When we focus on changing behavior directly (by will-power) we are focusing on the effects of the problem rather than on the root cause. Inner life is radically transformed by learning how to live in the Presence of Jesus. We learn this in discipleship with him. Behavior alteration follows.
(George Miley) Recorded 9/23/2018