James seems to have a thing about money and the rich. He's properly slagged them off once already and now he does it again. What's his problem?
The reason I think James keeps coming back to money is because it represents the powerful hold that temporary physical possessions have on so many of us. It's what we talk about, think about, worry about. It's what we work for, save for and it's what we're proud of. And yet, when we die, we leave it all behind. Why do we care so much about things that aren't eternal? Like the No Fear slogan says - 'He who dies with the most toys, still dies!'
James is writing to those who care about money and possessions way too much. They're greedy and selfish and materialistic. We might be tempted to think that we don't fall into that category but personally, I think we probably do a lot of the time. Especially if we're among those in our world who don't have to worry about food, clothes and shelter. Do you really think you're not among the greedy rich that James is talking to? Having a look at your standing on www.globalrichlist.com might change your mind!
James wants us to care about and invest our lives in things that are going to outlast this dying world. He wants us to remember that Jesus is coming back to judge the living and the dead and only the forgiven will make it through that! This should be the ultimate comfort that brings hope to those who are suffering now. Those who have plenty of physical needs can see their spiritual need more clearly and are better placed to be able to reach out in desperation and ask for God's help. Those who are comfortable can easily think they needn't bother. Beware of this!
Are you comfortable? Are you relatively well-off? Probably. Do you suffer? Probably. Take comfort in the fact that Jesus, the one who is full of compassion and mercy, the one who brings about his plan in our lives will one day return. This is not all there is! Thank God for this today!