My freshman year in college, I took Physics 121, which was the introductory-level physics course, required for all engineering majors. It was a "weed out" class, which meant it was intended to be difficult enough to "weed out" the people who either weren't serious about study, or weren't able to keep pace.
Tests were graded out of 120 points, and anything above 55 points was considered passing. Another way of saying that: if you got 46%, you were passing! Still, half the class was always in danger of failing.
Because I had an incredibly strong background in physics from high school, my college-level class didn't teach me anything new until about halfway through the second semester. While my classmates were struggling, I was coasting along, getting 110, 115 points per test.
It wasn't long before I had classmates hanging out in my room on nights before physics tests, asking for my help. I was always glad to give them help, and they knew that I wouldn't steer them wrong.
Imagine, though, if every time I explained a problem to someone, they had said to me, "Well, that's a nice idea, but I think this way will work just as well..." And then they proceeded to use a different method, arriving at a different answer.
Don't you imagine that after a while, I would say, "Excuse me, but if you're not ever going to listen to what I tell you, why are you even bothering to ask?"
This is the attitude James warns about:
James tells us: don't come to God asking for wisdom, and then just ignore the wisdom which he gives. The problem is, we often don't like the advice we get, so we try to set it aside. But James says, if you ask God for wisdom, and then ignore what He shows you, you're unstable, and will make no progress in life!
The good news is that, as happy as I always was to give advice and help to my classmates, God is even more eager to give to us; James says that He "gives generously." How great to know that God is not only all-knowing, but generous to boot!