Reflection: Here James reminds us to view our circumstances in terms of God’s creation and redemption, and not in terms of wealth and poverty. The poor are reminded of their “high position” as one of God’s children. The rich, on the other hand, are to recall that their wealth is fleeting and not to be relied upon. Much of the biblical picture turns our thinking upside down and challenges us about what we truly value; to search our own hearts about where we place our resources, time, and energy.
Who of us can claim not to be attracted to the intoxicating nature of success, wealth, and status? James reminds us that worldly success is illusory and deceptive. He is especially concerned with wealth that is accrued at the expense of others. He highlights instead the authentic and lasting life to be found in relationship with God.
Question: What do you think James means by the “high position” of the poor believer? What might he say is a healthy perspective on wealth?
Prayer: Creator God, forgive me the times when I have lost perspective on wealth. Help me to understand my place in your creation as one of your children, and to be generous with those who are less fortunate than me. Amen.