“Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, spend a year there, buy and sell, and make a profit…”
If playing God with others entails picturing ourselves better than others and putting them down (4:11-12), then playing God with ourselves behaves as if we are the final authority in life.
Literally, the words “come now” are go now in the original. James goads his readers into listening to him. He confronts critics who attempt to take the place of God, occupying the space only God can inhabit.
you who say,
James addresses business people who make business plans independent from God. They operate with disregard for God’s will in their business plans (4:13-17).
“Today or tomorrow …”
James speaks of shrewd businessmen who laid out their business plans well in advance. They do not anticipate hard times. They feel that they have the world by the tail, “What can stand in my way? I understand the market.”
All we have is today, so we need to make the most of the moment.
All we have is today. Yesterday is gone; we cannot bring it back. We cannot alter it. We cannot undo yesterday. We need to make the most of the moment, for we cannot be sure of tomorrow. Unexpected situations may make us change our plans totally. Procrastination or delay may lose an opportunity. You may not be ready to receive Jesus Christ as your Savior, but you have no guarantee of tomorrow.
The Christian may delay writing that letter of forgiveness, but he does not have any guarantee of tomorrow. Procrastination is the thief of time and opportunity. Do not put off till tomorrow what you can do today.