Summary: There are serious consequences in mishandling money!
Money is the root of all evil! True??
This is often misquoted! 1 Timothy 6:10 is the truth which states that the love of money is the root of all sorts of evil. We talked about this a few weeks ago from the end of James 4; money is a necessity for living; but the love of money, being money focused, is the root of all evil. What is the focus in our daily lives today? I myself have to constantly focus on the right focus! Anything not focused on God is just hocus focus!!
This is such an important matter that God talks even more about it at the beginning of James 5… please open your Bibles there….
Read along with me v1-6….
v1: God was speaking to “rich people”! As we had noted, having money is not a problem. The problem is the focus on money over God; this was the topic at the end of James 4. Here in the beginning of James 5, God’s concern is what rich people do with their money!
God is concerned about our attitudes on money and God is watchful with what we do with money!
Let’s talk about the problems rich people do according to God:
v3b: hoarding wealth is a sin! Why is it a sin? Hoarding is an obsession to selfishly cling on to something!
What else does God reprimand rich people of?
v4: Undercutting your worker’s wages is a sin! Let us also note another truth in this verse: Good workers will do the job but will pray to God when there is injustice! Most of us are employees not employers; how much praying do we do about our employers?
Another sinful thing that rich people do is stated in v5: Rich people can overfeed themselves to self-indulgence.
Verse 6 can mean a couple of things:
1. Self-indulgence of rich people is a sin which killed Jesus Christ.
2. People can be oppressed to death as slaves of rich people!
And we read, God will judge rich people who hoard money, underpay their workers, indulge themselves selfishly:
v1: misery comes to those who mismanage wealth
v2: wealth will rot – what happens when things rot??
v3a: gold and silver will corrode
v3b: corrosion of wealth will speak for the foolish rich
v3c: ugly sickness and death will surely come
v4: those oppressed praying will be given justice by God
What a rich person does have serious consequences!
Now, you might say, not much of this applies to me because I am not rich. Let me ask you a question; Do you have any cash on you, in your wallet, purse, or pockets? Do you have money in the bank or other assets? If you have money (in any amount), you are rich and biblical principles from James apply to us!
Obviously there are 2 main biblical principles for us to apply:
1. Making money (work) is a necessity in our God given life. However,
2. Mismanaging our wealth will be judged by God!
Now, we can go back to what we noted from this passage about the wrong things rich people do, and I encourage you to review them again during the week; but here’s a basic for Christians in response to the main principles we cited:
Every Christian must have a godly budget!
Every Christian must work, whether in school, or house chores, caregiving, or employed; but every Christian must have a godly budget!
A godly budget is based on god given work!
Give thanks for what God has provided and start your budget with those resources! How much comes in per month?
A godly budget notes the basic necessities of life!
Subtract the basic expenses (food, clothing, housing, transportation, etc…) from your income.
A godly budget considers 1 Corinthians 3:13-15….
11 For no one can lay a foundation other than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. 12 Now if anyone builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw— 13 each one's work will become manifest, for the Day will disclose it, because it will be revealed by fire, and the fire will test what sort of work each one has done. 14 If the work that anyone has built on the foundation survives, he will receive a reward. 15 If anyone's work is burned up, he will suffer loss, though he himself will be saved, but only as through fire.