Although the lectionary is not designed to match themes of the first reading with the epistle reading, this week it does. James writes of the importance of wisdom and also of the divergent outcomes of being wise and being unwise.
And, according to James, it's pretty obvious if somebody is wise. If you're envious or selfishly ambitious, you're not.
Moreover, your envy and selfishness harms everybody. (I'm wondering if envious and selfish people worry about this.)
How God wants us to be, according to James, is peaceful, merciful, impartial, and not hypocritical. Perhaps, if I would try to attain and act out those characteristics, then I wouldn't be envious or selfish. Or, if I weren't so envious and selfish, then I would find it easier to practice peace, mercy, and impartiality, rather than hypocricy.