“You adulterous people! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.” (James 4:4, ESV)
James pulls no punches as he exhorts his audience to behave in a godly manner. He makes a powerful statement that should trouble believers and cause us to examine our lives, our worldview, our work, and our leisure activities for such are rooted in and often mirror the ways and values of the world. Those who espouse such values do not honor God, and in fact, set themselves up as His enemy. They reject His Word. They trust more in the ways and glory of the world than they do in the Lord. This is idolatry.
Therefore it is no wonder James makes such a strong statement about the behavior of believers. A Christian who loves the ways of the world and adopts them rejects Christ despite allegations to the contrary. James refers to such people as adulterous.
So James commands his audience as a whole to pray for wisdom from God. This requires great humility for such a prayer is an acknowledgement of our own sinful weakness, an admission most of us are hesitant to make. Very few people want to admit they are wrong, let alone sinful. Most would rather try to justify and excuse their sin and spin it into something righteous or good. Most want to appear godly and wise in the eyes of others. Such is the reason for the popularity of social media. And yet wisdom from God is rooted in humility and human weakness. But herein is Grace, for the Lord grants mercy and forgiveness to those humble enough to repent. Our calling as Christians is to live lives that glorify God. We must ask Him for wisdom so that we will be able to discern and resist the temptations and lies of the world. We also need His wisdom so we may fulfill our calling, to extend grace, compassion, and mercy to others in order to edify our brethren in Christ as well as all people for Christ died for all.