James 5:1-6

Today's Passage: James 5:1-6

Is it wrong to be rich? By reading this passage, it seems as if God condemns people who have
money. But I think we have to look a little deeper at the passage.

God does not condemn rich people. He condemns rich people who have laid up treasures on
earth (v. 3), didn’t pay people properly (v. 4), self-indulged (v. 5), and murdered righteous
people (v. 6).

It’s not the amount of money that condemns someone, it’s the heart of the person. So no, it is
not wrong to be rich. What’s wrong is treasuring the things of this world more than God.

We need to understand that “our money” is not really our money. God has given it to us. He
has blessed us with what we have. So when we take something God has given us and use it for
our selfish gain or in a way opposite of its original design, we can understand why He condemns
that. That is basically the definition of sin.

I think about the story of Zacchaeus. He was a condemned man before he met Jesus. But he
wasn’t condemned because he had a lot of money. What condemned him was his sin. His sin
was lying and stealing from people (which caused him to be rich). Jesus didn’t see Zacchaeus as
a lost cause. Instead, Jesus spent time with Him. And once Zacchaeus put his faith in Jesus, he
repented by giving back what he took and more. Zacchaeus understood that following Jesus
was worth more than any amount of money.

God’s Word is very clear for what God wants from us: 2 Corinthians 9:6-7, “The point is this:
whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap
bountifully. Each person must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under
compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.”

In your life, would you describe yourself as a “cheerful giver”? What might need to change for
you to have a “cheerful giver” heart?

Written By: Brice Stockton

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