The Poorness of Money

James 1:9-11 (ESV)
"Let the lowly brother boast in his exaltation, and the rich in his humiliation, because like a flower of the grass[a] he will pass away. 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."

The brevity and flimsiness of life have inspired many metaphors in literature such as life being a dream, or a mist, a vapor in the wind, or nothing but a shadow. In our study verse, James compares life to a spray of flowers that will fade away.

Think about it: we spend our entire lives trying to accumulate money. We ruin vacations, health, marriages, children, and friendships—and for what? In the end we wither and die and leave it all behind. But it’s not just a problem of temporal consideration—money has the capacity to ruin our lives right now. Money can give us a false sense of security and significance.

In reality, the love of money will actually impoverish us, for it will turn our heart from good and turn towards darkness (Matthew 6:22-23). Material accumulation darkens our hearts, clouds our judgment, and leaves us morally confused. Our priorities become obscured by the world and what it offers. Without thinking, we turn from God.

Jesus declared it plainly that we cannot serve two masters (Matthew 6:24). Constant thought on the accumulation of wealth and possessions leaves us little time to think of Him and His desire for our lives. Our hunger becomes misplaced and before we know it, instead of being a slave to the Lord Jesus Christ, we become slaves to materialism.

This is idolatry. No, your likely not sacrificing children to Molech or paying homage to Baal, but you have made something else more valuable than the Lord in your own heart. And if you need a refresher on what God thinks about those who turn from Him to worship idols, read the book of Ezekiel sometime.

If you are a believer, and you are trapped by the offerings of this world, expect one of two things to come your way: He will let the money-driven life you are leading to become a snare that will lead to utter disappointment and heartbreak, or He will take it from you in a blink of an eye to right your focus on the priorities of this life. Either way, He will be at work, teaching you humility while ridding you of your desire for things temporal.

Consider what the Psalmist wrote in Psalm 73:23-28 and let those words convict you of a life that needs re-prioritizing. Seek His kingdom first (Matthew 6:33) and ensure the treasure in your heart is all about Him (Matthew 6:21).