James 5:1 Come now, you rich people, weep and wail for the miseries that are coming to you. 2 Your riches have rotted, and your clothes are moth-eaten. 3 Your gold and silver have rusted, and their rust will be evidence against you, and it will eat your flesh like fire. You have laid up treasure for the last days. 4 Listen! The wages of the laborers who mowed your fields, which you kept back by fraud, cry out, and the cries of the harvesters have reached the ears of the Lord of hosts. 5 You have lived on the earth in luxury and in pleasure; you have fattened your hearts in a day of slaughter. 6 You have condemned and murdered the righteous one, who does not resist you.
Reading this passage you might get the impression that James has a problem with wealthy people. Reminds me of 1 Timothy 6:10, “The love of money is the root of all kinds of evil”. Some take this to mean that the rich people are necessarily evil, but that’s not the case. That said, having wealth and power provides great opportunity to abuse wealth and power. That’s what James is naming in this passage. Some people of means commit fraud and steal from their laborers.
Of course, when I’m reading about “rich people” my initial reaction is to exclude myself – but I’m not sure that’s correct. I may not be considered rich in America, but certainly from a global perspective I am. So this morning I’m thinking about how I use the resources God has given to me. Am I using my resources for good or not?
Lord I am so grateful for your amazing generosity to me and my family. Teach me to use what you have given me wisely and give me grace to be generous to others. Amen.