Day 18: James 5:1-6

Today’s reading contains strong words for we who live in a wealthy culture!

Now listen, you rich people, weep and wail because of the misery that is coming on 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 workers 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 the innocent one, who was not opposing you.  (TNIV)


3 thoughts on “Day 18: James 5:1-6

  1. My first instinct as I read through these words is to get defensive. This isn’t me! I don’t hoard wealth or fail to pay workers or let innocent people suffer. And yet…
    How willing am I to own the fact that my Western lifestyle has a negative impact on people around the world? That everything from eating chocolate to owning an iphone has indirectly contributed to the poor wages and conditions of a worker on the other side of the world. And yes, I know it’s complicated. Our consumption is necessary for the economies of poorer nations that depend on our wealth. But how much am I willing to pay attention and live as a responsible citizen of God’s Kingdom?
    Today, on Ash Wednesday, I find myself called to pay close attention to how my life affects others. And to look to the One whose life has forever changed mine.

  2. Kind of a fitting passage for Ash Wednesday. We go from Fat Tuesday (aka ‘Mardi Gras’) where tradition has it that people live out the day in drunkenness and gluttony to prepare for Lent… It’s the last big “Hurrah” before we ‘fast’. Ok, it’s really an excuse to party.
    Living here in Canada means we experience the upper 10% of the world’s wealth. We take so much for granted and are driven to consume. Our kids are fed the idea that they need the latest and greatest toys. As I type this on my own iPad, I think of benefits we have become accustomed to And the luxuries we really experience compared to many in our world.
    Let’s be committed to thankful hearts for what we have. Request forgiveness for abusing our wealth and taking things for granted. And be mindful of the 90% of the world who have far less than we do, striving to use what we have to help those in need. It’s not sinful to have wealth, it’s how we use it. Everythinig is a gift from God. May we use all that we own to God’s glory and further HIS Kingdom.

  3. God, show me where I have “condemned the innocent”. Self-indulgence, also warned against in this passage, is at times part of my routine.

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