Come now, you rich, weep and howl for the miseries that are coming upon you. Your riches have rotted and your garments are moth- eaten. Your gold and silver have corroded, and their corrosion will be evidence against you and will eat your flesh like fire. You have laid up treasure in the last days. Behold, the wages of the laborers who mowed your fields, which you kept back by fraud, are crying out against you, and the cries of the harvesters have reached the ears of the Lord of hosts. You have lived on the earth in luxury and in self- indulgence. You have fattened your hearts in a day of slaughter. You have condemned and murdered the righteous person. He does not resist you. – James 5:1-6
Earlier this week I had a brief interaction with another couple who appear to have it all – a thriving business, a motorhome, a vacation getaway on the river, boat and waverunner…. all the toys. Our tendency is to consider them as “rich”, but I think that is the problem –
We tend to think of the “other guy” as the one who is living “in luxury and in self-indulgence” when someone else would point to each one of us as the “other guy.”
Jesus warned of the dangers of pursuing wealth and Paul stated that “the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil. And some people, craving money, have wandered from the true faith and pierced themselves with many sorrows” (1 Timothy 6:10).
Likewise, James warns of those who cheat their employees to invest in riches that don’t last. Instead, the “other guy” should look for opportunities to invest in the lives of others for their good.
It is clear from Scripture that the pursuit of wealth at all costs is not a new thing. And the pursuit of anything in the place of God, including riches, will ultimately leave you and me empty. Is it possible in any way that James’ words apply to us? It’s a question worth considering.