The gap between rich and poor continues to widen, as does the gap between those who think they know what to do about it! Some think fixing it is as simple as taking money from the rich and giving it to the poor. Others say let the rich prosper so they can hire the poor.
The futility behind all of this is that wealth, as measured by money, is an illusion. If you don’t agree, check out what happens to those who win the lottery. Many, many of them say it was the worst thing that ever happened to them. There is an emptiness in our souls that money does not satisfy. That emptiness comes from a longing to be fully connected to God, as He designed us to be. What satisfies that emptiness, that hunger, is the gift of God’s Spirit, living inside our souls, a gift given to all who believe and surrender to Jesus. When you have that life, money becomes secondary.
It is only in the light of that truth that these lines from the Book of James makes sense:
“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.” (James 1:9-10)
James is talking about “brothers,” believers. The poorest believer has been given an eternal, living connection to Almighty God. We talk about people with connections as though who they know makes them more important and powerful. You cannot have a better connection than even the poorest believer. On the other hand, a believer who happens to have a lot of money is no better off, ultimately, than his impoverished brother. He can buy more stuff, but they both have eternal life. That evens the score.