Meditation Commentary on James 1:5-7

 

5Listen, my beloved brethren: Has God not chosen the poor of this world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom which He has promised to those who love Him? 6But you have dishonored the poor man. Do not the rich oppress you and drag you into the courts? 7Do they not blaspheme that noble name by which you are called?

 

Is it bad to have monetary wealth? Does one have to be financially poor or needy in order to have a fruitful walk with Christ?

The first few times I read this passage, I found myself dwelling on the surface connotation of the text, and struggled to find the deeper meaning. However, as I meditated on these three verses, God began revealing to me what is truly spoken of in the passage of James 1:5-7.

“Blessed are the poor in spirit, For theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 5:3). God is looking to bless people who are fully committed to Him and have a humble spirit. He delights in those who admit that they are incapable of accomplishing anything of significance on their own. Riches cause great trouble in our world. Not many things cause people to kill, lie, cheat, and behave dishonorably quite as much as the love of money and the pursuit of wealth. 1 Timothy 6:10, a verse that we are all very familiar with, describes this beautifully: “For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.”

Through meditating on this passage and considering examples of “the rich” that James is speaking of, I think of vice-chairman of AOL Time Warner and founder of CNN, Ted Turner. Ted is the 80th richest American, which out of 292,011,878 total Americans, is pretty far up in the rankings! He has been divorced 3 times (one of which was due to the fact that his wife became a Christian), and obviously has no real purpose in life. Ted once said, “If I only had a little humility, I'd be perfect.” This man is an example of the thousands of people who are so incredibly influential, yet, in no way follow Christ. He himself said, “The media is too concentrated, too few people own too much. . . There's really five companies that control 90 percent of what we read, see and hear. It's not healthy.” Can you imagine the lasting impact this man could have on the world if he came to a saving knowledge of Christ?!

Although it is easy to generate examples using people such as Ted Turner, this passage is not limited to “America’s richest 100.” People who have very little in the world’s eyes can just as easily become prideful and self-reliant as those who are seen as being very wealthy.

Our Lord, the God of the universe is seeking out those who will allow Him to do the impossible in and through them. The prerequisite: Humility.

 

By Zachary Childers