Thursday, August 16, 2018

More Important Than Riches

"Now listen, you rich people, weep and wail because of the misery that is coming upon you. Your wealth has rotted, and moths have eaten your clothes. Your gold and silver are corroded. Their corrosion will testify against you and eat your flesh like fire. You have hoarded wealth in the last days. Look! The wages you failed to pay the workmen who mowed your fields are crying out against you. The cries of the harvesters have reached the ears of the Lord Almighty. You have lived on earth in luxury and self-indulgence. You have fattened yourselves in the day of slaughter. You have condemned and murdered innocent men, who were not opposing you." James 5:1-6

If God doesn't have a problem with riches, then why does He sound to upset in this portion of Scripture?

God gets excited about people who know how to handle riches correctly. They understand:

1) Righteousness is more important than riches.
2) Relationship is more important than riches.

Apparently, these Christians James is writing to had forgotten these truths. Or, at least some of them had. Their actions and attitudes were downright sinful. They were disgracing their God, their faith, their church and themselves.

They had succumbed to the temptation of trusting in their wealth more than trusting in God. As a result they were hoarding their money and riches instead of helping the less fortunate or giving to the Lord or honoring their obligations to their employees. In an effort to protect their wealth, these rich people had become miserly and miserable. Rather than investing their money in God's purposes and God's people they were spending it on personal pleasure and possessions and tempting to gain power over God's people.

What this portion of Scripture proves and what these people illustrate is that when your cash on hand exceeds your character the result is usually corruption. When you love your money more than you love your Master, you are on a road to ruin.

God is committed to the development of your character and He knows how much wealth you can handle without it corrupting your character. Being the God of unlimited resources and unlimited grace He would delight in being able to pour out abundant material blessings on His people. But His generosity toward you is limited only by the capacity of your character to handle wealth without it corrupting you.

If you are spiritually weak or lack maturity and if your character is still being developed you may be as wealthy as God can trust you to be right now. Draw closer to Him. Cleanse your hands and purify your heart. When God has your heart then He can trust your wallet. His desire is to pour blessings on you so He can pour blessings through you. He wants you to be a pipeline not a reservoir.

The condemnation on these believers was that they had become stagnant reservoirs rather than pipelines of blessing.

How would you characterize your attitude toward money and wealth? Is it the driving force in your life? As you trusting it as the source of your security? Is it more important than your relationships? Is it more important than your righteousness?