English Standard Version (ESV)
The lilies and iris are starting to poke through the mulch in the front of the house. Little shoots of green, hopefully stretching towards the sky, promising beauty ahead. Each one brings excitement, for I know that when the burst forth in color the front of the house will be enriched by their beauty.
Here, James is reminding us that sin and death take the same journey. They start as desires, innocently tempting us, asking for just a little time and attention, seeming like they have no harm at all. What's one little desire?
But desire grows, right? The only word our appetite knows is more, and so desire grows and grows, eventually giving birth to sin, and then sin grows and grows, leading to death.
What harm is one little desire? It leads to great harm, and so may we be ever vigilant, aware of how sin begins as small desires. May we find people we trust to whom we can confess our sins and our desires. In doing so, we help one another tune our hearts to look for the gifts from above.