December 06, 2004

Meredith on James:1-5

Wow, rich folks are getting a tongue lashing here. James rather fiercely admonishes the wealthy regarding their attitude toward riches, especially when riches are hoarded and laborers are not paid fairly. He suggests that the love of money could be one's downfall "...their corrosion will testify against you and eat your flesh like fire." Monetary riches are worthless in the eternal kingdom.

In my experience, this attitude toward riches is accurate. Once the treasure in your own heart is found, for wealthy and poor alike, little else in the manner of riches compares. This is the nugget, the jewel, the gift. And once you recognize it within you, you will want only to share it, and share it abundantly with an open and grateful heart.

Meredith

4 Comments:

At 5:20 AM, Blogger david said...

The rich do get a tongue lashing here don't they (we?).

I say "we" because even poor people in North America today have better riches, more consumer power, more access to goods and services than fairly well-to-do types from biblical days.

You said: Once the treasure in your own heart is found, for wealthy and poor alike, little else in the manner of riches compares.I tend to agree. But I cannot find a single passage in the Christian scriptures that agrees with us. They all seem to imply the poor don't need to seek treasure within. They will be given. And the rich will have a hard time finding the inward treasures with their outward wealth hanging around their necks.

Maybe I'm misreading. Or maybe the living conditions of Jesus' day were different enough to justify it. Or maybe the sciptures just exaggerate to get the point across.

 
At 3:00 PM, Blogger Marjorie said...

An interesting point, I agree both rich and poor must find the treasure in their hearts otherwise the poor might be bitter at their plight. The Bible reassures the poor but doesn't seem to direct them to look for their treasure within -- at least not explicitly. I think the theme is seen throughout...I will write what they are when I think of them. I think the Bible says much that is not explicit, like the parables themselves. Sometimes the most effective teaching comes from allowing the learner to learn things without stating them.

 
At 5:09 AM, Blogger Larry said...

Good point, Marjorie. I'm thinking of the parable of the man who found a treasure in a field and went and sold all he had in order to buy the field. It's called the pearl of great price (Matt. 13:44ff).

I knew an old preacher once, unpaid by the church he served. In fact he caught chickens for Holly Farms to provide for his children. He told me,
"All my life I've been trying to out give God, and I've never been able to do it."

Me, too. You, too.

 
At 4:49 PM, Blogger forrest said...

>You said: Once the treasure in
>your own heart is found, for >wealthy and poor alike, little
> else in the manner of riches
> compares.I tend to agree. But I
> cannot find a single passage in
> the Christian scriptures that
> agrees with us. They all seem to
> imply the poor don't need to seek
> treasure within. They will be
> given. And the rich will have a
> hard time finding the inward
> treasures with their outward
> wealth hanging around their necks.

We tend to miss the point of this because we are "rich."

God's gift to the poor is poverty. Sometimes this gift is merely an intolerable burden. I don't think we should hesitate for a moment to mitigate it.

But the value of poverty is the feeling of how precarious our life intrinsically is.

If poverty leads a person to ask for God's help, that help is there. It may or may not give him what he asks for, but he will be helped. This is the experience that many poor people know, something they would like to explain to us rich people--but can't. There's too great a gulf between us.

 

Post a Comment

<< Home