Genuine Riches

“Your riches are corrupted,” (James 5:2).

The Book of James teaches that genuine wealth is not found in money (verses 1-6).  The Apostle is not condemning making or accumulating wealth, per se.  What the Apostle condemns is ill-gotten gains on the backs of the poor and a person’s absolute trust in those riches.

First, hoarded wealth is destructive.  When the accumulation of wealth is one’s ultimate goal, it will be a hollow victory.  Wealth has a way of corrupting a person or of disappearing like rust to metal.   The Great Depression, the Great Recession, Runaway Interests, the Mortgage Meltdown, etc, all point to the fact that material wealth can disappear in an instant.  If all you’re trusting in is your financial portfolio, where will you be if it all disappears?

Second, tainted wealth can be confiscated (verse 4).  Even Christians can get caught up in the whirlwind of fraud, all to accumulate that million-dollar portfolio.  The Bible teaches that Christians who get their wealth by fraudulent means will be judged by Him.

Third, self-indulgent wealth is enjoyable for a season, but God will be the judge of whether you deserved it or not.  The Apostle does not condemn vacations or retreats.  What God condemns is wasting His blessings solely on self.  God blesses us to bless others, not indulge ourselves.

How we accumulate and spend our finances is important.  The Bible extols hard work and God blesses honest labor.  God will not bless get-rich-quick schemes.  God wants us to depend on Him, not just our ingenuity.

Where is your trust?  Is your trust in God, or in cold, hard cash?

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