You’re rich! And I don’t mean spiritually rich, because you’ll go to heaven one day. No, from a worldly perspective, you are really rich!
And immediately I can hear people’s saying they’re not rich. Do you know how much money I owe the bank? I actually can’t make it to the end of the month. I struggle to survive. It’s so hard to keep one’s head above water!
Let’s put it in simple terms. Can you afford a loaf of bread and a litre of milk? Can you get a few rands somewhere now and walk to a shop to buy yourself some bread and milk? If you say yes, you have more than 689 million people worldwide.
These people have less than $1.90 a day to live on. In their eyes you’re rich. It’s quite funny how we can look up to people in the next higher economic category than us and think they’re rich, while they don’t see themselves as rich.
It’s hard for us to look at the people in a lower economic category, those in the economic category just below us, and see ourselves from their perspective. For them, we are very rich because we have more than them.
There’s nothing inherently wrong with wealth. There are many people with bags full of money who do so much for other people. Those of us who depend on the financial support of Crossroad readers, listeners and viewers experience that every day.
But when you misuse your wealth, even if you only have a little more than a bread and milk’s worth of money, you’re in trouble. James is talking to the people who misuse their money here:
1And a final word to you arrogant rich: Take some lessons in lament. You’ll need buckets for the tears when the crash comes upon you. 2Your money is corrupt and your fine clothes stink. Your greedy luxuries are a cancer in your gut, destroying your life from within. 3You thought you were piling up wealth. What you’ve piled up is judgment. 4All the workers you’ve exploited and cheated cry out for judgment. The groans of the workers you used and abused are a roar in the ears of the Master Avenger. 5You’ve looted the earth and lived it up. But all you’ll have to show for it is a fatter than usual corpse. 6In fact, what you’ve done is condemn and murder perfectly good persons, who stand there and take it.
Don’t look up and think James is talking about the economic group above you here. He’s talking to all of us. Let’s learn here what we should and shouldn’t do. Let’s treat everyone with respect, even if they have less or more than us, and let’s just share with others, even if we have less than others.
How rich are you?
Where are your finances pushing you in the wrong direction?
How can your financial position help others?
Father, I know I have more. I know that when I look at others, I think I have less. Help me to use what You have entrusted to me to help others. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.