9 Let the lowly brother boast in his exaltation,10 and the rich in his humiliation, because like a flower of the grass he will pass away. 11 For the sun rises with its scorching heat and withers the grass; its flower falls, and its beauty perishes. So also will the rich man fade away in the midst of his pursuits. - James 1:9-11
James makes this comparison a few times in his book - he is comparing a poor, humble man and a rich man. Here, rich most likely is referring to monetary status, but it can also refer to material possessions or position. James is also not only comparing the wealth of a man, but the attitude toward the wealth. Being rich in and of itself will not cause us to perish, it is our attitude or focus on the money that he is addressing. “In the midst of his pursuit” helps us to understand he’s referring to the pursuit of possessions.
In other words, if our focus is on pursuing money or material things or power, then we will perish. These things are of the world and only temporary - just as grass fades away, so will our money, our things, and our power. They may seem as beautiful to us as the flowering grass, but their beauty is only superficial. Pursuing anything that is temporary and of this world is futile. James warns us here not to get distracted by these things, but rather speaks of the lowly man being exalted.
The lowly man is exalted not just for being poor, but again, it’s the attitude. If you struggle financially, and you’re frustrated with that or you’re always working to get out of the position you’re in, James is not talking about exalting you. He’s talking about the person who is not focused at all on their financial status and is completely content with where God has them. In other words, you’re not just exalted because you’re poor, it’s an attitude.
It can be so easy to be distracted by the things of this world because they are tangible and right in front of us. I am caught in the trap of needing material things to make my life more comfortable, or in focusing on my earthly accomplishments because that’s what the world teaches me. It is this time in the morning every day that resets my focus on Him and Him alone. My pursuit should only and always be to glorify my God and my King.
Press on ~ you are loved 💗
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