Your riches have rotted and your garments are moth-eaten. - James 5:2
Clothing was one indicator of wealth at the time James wrote this passage. The poor of his time often only has the clothes on their back and nothing more. It was an indicator of wealth to have a change of clothes, and the style or type of fabric was a further sign that the owner has money. The poor in these days longed to have an extra garment or cloak, and would look at those who do with envy.
Wealth can be a dangerous place for our desires to go. When we desire money and riches above all things, we could be setting ourselves up for eternal destruction. But when we use money for His Kingdom, we will be blessed.
The condition of our heart determines the impact wealth will have on us. If we look at others’ wealth and wonder why God has not blessed our wallet in the same way, our hearts may struggle with envy. Perhaps you desire the material objects the wealthy have - the house, the car, the clothes. You see it as a status symbol and want others to look on your things and think well of you. James just mentioned in the last chapter of butter jealousy or selfish ambition exists in our hearts, then there is disorder and every evil thing. Being envious, or desiring what another has, is essentially looking at God and exclaiming He doesn’t know what’s best, you do. Envy questions the wisdom of God.
Some may look to wealth as a means of comfort. Perhaps your thoughts desire to just not have to think about money in life. You don’t have a strong desire for material things, you don’t want a lavish lifestyle, your just don’t want to live in fear anymore. Your desire is to know the comfort and security of having enough to pay the bills and put a little away for the future. If this is your desire, then comfort and security may become your idols. You will seek after the comfort that money can provide above all else.
Either of these leave our hearts desiring money and wealth above our God. Anything placed before Him has the temptation to lead our hearts to eternal destruction. When idols like money exist in our heart, we prioritize the acquisition of those things before God. We will spend our energy and our time trying to fulfill our desires, rather than trusting in God’s plan for our lives. When our hearts are content in the place He has us, we find our peace and joy.
The God who created this great big beautiful universe placed you exactly where you are. He has chosen to bless you at this time with exactly the amount of money in your bank account. And the God who created the oceans and the mountains, doesn’t make mistakes.
Press on ~ you are loved 💗
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