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Wealth That Kills

Your gold and silver have rusted, and their rust will be evidence against you and will eat your flesh like fire. You have laid up treasure for the last days.

James 5:3 (RSV)

The first thing I would like to point out before we go any further in our meditation today is that James has no problem with rich people or wealth. He just wants to remind them of the way they treat poor people and the priority they give to their possessions and wealth in their lives. They neglect the grace of God to run after gold and silver which, in the last day, will be of no use to them.

We often meet people who come with tempting ideas and projects and who tell us they want to help the poor, the homeless and orphans. However, their goal is not really to help them. It’s more about earning more money and growing their bank account. It is with these people that Jacques speaks directly. Their incessant quest for money leads them to diminish the value of those who work for them. Jesus Christ also denounced those who trust in their riches in Matthew 6.

Like Jacques, I would like to tell you that wealth in itself is not a problem. But, if you value Him more than God to the point of neglecting His word or your relationship with Him, one day you will end up losing everything. Remember that everything comes from God. If he has blessed you, bless others also, for as we find in Matthew 13:12: "For whosoever hath, to him shall be given, and he shall have abundance: but whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken away even that which he hath.” Do not let the riches of the world consume your life or cause you to lose the grace that is yours.

May the grace and peace of God be with you all.

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