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James Study Day 3
Sometimes wise words can sound a little confusing at first. But when you figure it out, we know that we have really Figured it out. We can then take it to heart and use it.
To continue in our study of the book James, let’s look at verses 9 – 11 in the first chapter.
The brother in humble circumstances ought to take pride in his high position. But the one who is rich should take pride in his low position, because he will pass away like a wild flower. For the sun rises with scorching heat and withers the plant; its blossom falls and its beauty is destroyed. In the same way, the rich man will fade away even while he goes about his business. (NIV)
Verses such as those above have misquoted over the years. In no way does this say that only the poor can enter heaven and all the rich are going to hell. Neither does it say either one is not saved or that there is no chance for them. So many times when we read anything (it does not have to be scripture) we tend to read only what we want to read. Here we have to apply what is should be one of the largest foundations of your Bible study. You need to apply the whole Bible as a whole. You need to read other sections to totally understand what is being said.
Here it is being said that just because you are poor does not mean that you should be ashamed. In fact you should take pride (not be prideful) in the position that you hold which in reality is high. You don’t have the issue of worshipping money that some (not all) the rich (or wannabe’s) have. You don’t have the burden of caring for the money and putting it to good use. You have what you have and that is all you need.
The rich on the other hand should be thankful also for their “low” position. They have given a huge burden and they should know that they can’t take it with them. Though money is very beneficial in this world, it can fade and disappear (just look at the stock market lately). It only holds the value we place upon it and we’ve seen way to many times when it has been valued too much. It also cannot love you back. Though rich in the world’s eyes, they are only as rich as the blessings poured out upon them which cannot always be seen.
Think of this the next time you wish you had more or were just a tad resentful of what the other guy has. I know that I’ve been there. It doesn’t seem fair. Why do I have to struggle? Or the other way in which you are so prideful that you have money and other don’t have as much. We need to be thankful for the position we are in and realize the full impact of it on our lives and those around us.