Is there anything underlying theme that unites these injunctions? Well, they are all manifestations of pride. Thinking we are more important than others. Thinking that we know better than others. Thinking that we know better than God! James presents humility as the answer.
We end up fighting with each other because of our passions and desires. We want what we want, and when someone thinks differently, or keeps us from doing what we want, we fight. And the things we want aren’t the things God wants. Take adultery for instance. That’s something God doesn’t want us to do. It’s wrong, and it grieves God when we do it. We need to be humble and to submit to what God wants for us. When we submit to God, we resist the devil and he has no power!
The same is true of judging other believers. We should be most concerned about following the law ourselves, not setting ourselves up as judges. When we are constantly critical of others it’s usually so that we can look better, but how good do any of us really look when we compare ourselves to God’s Word? We need to humbly submit to the true lawgiver and judge, not seek to be a judge ourselves.
Submission also applies to our everyday decisions and actions. We even need to submit our daily schedules to God! Acknowledging He is in control rather than us should help us submit to Him in all areas of our lives! We know what is right to do, and if we don’t do it, we sin.