Though no one knows for sure, there seems to be some evidence to support the idea that the book of James in Scripture may be written by James, the brother of Jesus. I so want that to be true. James is not for the faint of heart - and ol' Martin Luther wanted it drummed out of the canon - but the no nonsense approach to a life lived in faith seems to line up pretty well with many of the words of Jesus.
Be honest now: wouldn't your life be simpler if you let your 'yes' be 'yes' and your 'no' be 'no'? I was raised by a mother who felt the need to explain, in detail, why she was returning a blouse or why she couldn't attend a friend's party. I have learned over the years to follow the advice of Churchill and never complain, never explain. (or I TRY to, anyway..)
How would your life change if you always tried to be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger? I'd venture to guess about half of our problems in life would dissipate if we followed that.
One of the things I love the most about the teachings of Jesus is his insistence on moving past just not doing bad, but by overtly doing good. Sounds like James, huh?: if someone knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for them it is sin.
And of course, all that wisdom about the need to tame the tongue. Mercy. He quits preaching and goes to meddling right there.
The entire book probably doesn't take 15 minutes to read, but a lifetime to absorb. Find your favorite translation and sit with James one afternoon on the porch. Then find another translation, then another. Time spent with James may help bring about another sort of spring cleaning that can make your life a better reflection of Love.