Living the High Life
Verse 10 But the rich should take pride in their humiliation—since they will pass away like a wild flower.
Now that we have looked at the poor side of the money issue let’s talk about those of us that are not having to pinch our pennies. If you remember from yesterday we said that money is one of the things that distract us from focusing on Jesus and looking to Him alone for wisdom. We learned that those of lower means of finances tend to focus on the Lord easier because they don’t have the stumbling block of having more than they need.
Today’s key verse puts wealth in a negative light. This isn’t something that we are used to hearing. One of the first things people ask when meeting us is what we do. This question may not be as much about the career choice as it is about inquiring about the person’s status in life. We tend to do this without even realizing that we are doing it.
James isn’t saying that those who have larger means are not as Godly as those who have less. He wants his readers to understand that having more means can be a stumbling block as it is so easy to become self-dependent. The more that we think we can handle on our own, the less we turn to God for help. And in turn the less we turn to God, the further we can get from Him without even realizing it.
Let’s be honest with ourselves. If we are not only being able to take care of our needs but also being able to fulfill our wants, we are less likely to see our need for God as an important part of our lives. But one of the biggest problems with this is that we get so focused on the things of this world and we are once again not focusing on Christ. It is that easy for us to allow money to take the place in our heart that God should have. This is the very reason that Jesus warned about not being able to love God and money at the same time.
We may not even realize that we are making money our God, and to be honest the poor can be in just as much danger as the wealthy of making money their God, that is exactly what we do when we start seeing money as the answer to all our problems. And when we rely on money instead of God, we are relying on things that will pass away with this world. We are living for the physical world instead of the spiritual world. We can’t have a spiritual focus and live for the physical. It has to be one or the other.
Making It Personal
What is your relationship with money? Does it or the desire for it control what you do? What needs to happen in your life to focus more on God than on money?
Making It Personal Kids
How important is it to have a lot of money? What is more important? Do you think about money often?
Father, thank You for blessing us in so many ways. Help us learn to notice the instant our hearts start turning to anything other than You. In Jesus’ name, amen.