Pastor, I love how the Apostle James consistently addresses his audience in his epistle. Eleven times in his five short chapters, Pastor James addresses his congregation as my brothers (sometimes the phrase is even my dear brothers).
The word brothers is always the Greek word adelphos, which means from the same womb. James didn’t elevate himself, nor put down others in the church; he constantly put himself on the same plain. He was saying, “Look, I struggle with what you struggle with—we all have the same issues. I’m not immune to these things because I’m the so-called leader of the Jerusalem church. I have to keep alert and keep on working in these areas too!”
Sometimes James adds the adjective dear (or as the KJV says, beloved). This word is from the root word which means to be fond of someone, to love dearly, or to be well pleased. James, in essence, is saying, “I like you! You’re not just someone that goes to church with me, but you’re a dear friend.”
As the adage goes—People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care. So almost every point James covers in this epistle is introduced by the my brothers tag. It’s his way of reminding them, “I’m sharing this with you because I really like you, and I want us to grow closer to God together.”
Wow! What a great example for me as a pastor. I’m not immune to struggles. I’m not in a separate category. I’m in this with my dear brothers and sisters, and I want us to all overcome and grow in our level of intimacy with God together.