You have condemned and murdered the righteous person. He does not resist you. - James 5:6
This verse is a harsh ending to a sharp exhortation. James doesn’t hold back anything in this passage and he doesn’t sugar coat his message here either. He uses strong words to convey an important message.
Some think James is being literal here while others believe he is speaking more figuratively. I think this verse is a warning not to take advantage of innocent people for our own personal gain. We may never consider murdering someone for financial reasons, but we should be checking that our financial decision don’t negatively impact another person. As believers in Christ, we are called to act honorably in all financial situations.
If we withhold our money where God has clearly shown us a need, if we take advantage of a loophole, if we press an issue of financial gain where we should let it go, the warning in these verses are for us. Perhaps we have not paid for services rendered, or we have outstanding debt that has gone to collection, perhaps we withhold money because we think we were wronged in a situation, or we don’t feel someone in service is deserving of a tip. The reality is God sees and judges everything, especially with our finances. Everything we have in our bank account is from Him, and He is watching that we spend it as He calls us to spend it. When we stray from that, we are committing sin and convicted by the law as a transgressor. Double check your choices are in line with His calling for your finances.
It’s also important to note that the righteous man did not resist the wealthy man. The poor are often no match for the rich because they don’t have the resources to do battle. They common man is usually at the mercy of the rich. The wealthy own the big businesses, they have influence and power over government, so they often determine the law. Right or wrong, the rich often has control over the poor. James reminds his reader of here is that the poor man, though righteous, did not resist when he oppressed. While it’s not necessarily wrong to defend yourself in a court of law, it’s important to remember all wrongs will be made right one day. We have already been warned that we are not to judge others, we are not to fight and quarrel – even when we’re right and they are wrong. Jesus is the one and only judge, and he will make right every wrong. If we have been wrongly accused or taken advantage of financially, James is reminding us that God will make that right again some day. Jesus did not resist Pilate because righteous men do not resist.
Press on ~ you are loved 💗
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