I had this thought when I was looking at James 5:1-6, a harsh condemnation of the rich. It made me feel uncomfortable reading it. I need money to survive. So do you. So does the church. And so does everyone.
Years ago my children and I were talking about the cost of something they wanted (I can't remember what it was, but I didn't have the money at the time to pay for it.). My oldest daughter made a wonderful observation. She said, wouldn't the world be better off without needing money. Naive, sure. Utopian, no doubt. But spot on, I thought.
Such a question opened the door for me to not only talk about our global economy, but also how to live in a way that doesn't rely on greed, hoarding, or hurting others because of needs for wanting more. James' text teaches us that money was being used to harm others.
James condemns the rich for 4 very specific things:
• Hoarding things that others need
• Benefiting from treating others unjustly
• Wasting resources on themselves
• Destroying the righteous
How are we guilty? I hate to condemn or judge anyone, because I too am guilty of this. Can we still have money and serve God or the needs of others? Perhaps. But does our money get in the way of truly seeing Christ in others? Perhaps. Thoughts?
An ex-copywriter turned punk rock pastor and peacemaker who dedicates his life to making the world a better place for all humanity.
"that they all might be one" ~John 17:21
“Prius vita quam doctrina.”
~ St. Thomas Aquinas (1225–1274)
* “Life is more important than doctrine.”