Wednesday, February 7: The rich should take pride in their humiliation
Relying heavily on the teachings of Jesus and especially drawing from the Sermon on the Mount, James, in his New Testament letter, asserts that true faith is more than an intellectual pursuit of ideas. Instead, real faith results in action. James writes a stream of wise teachings that can easily seem like a bucket of ice water in your face. Watch for the Holy Spirit to call you to take next steps in activating your faith, helping you encounter and better follow Jesus to bless a broken world.
Read James 1:9-12
Believers in humble circumstances ought to take pride in their high position. But the rich should take pride in their humiliation—since they 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 will fade away even while they go about their business.
Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him.
Some believe that the James that this book is attributed to is the same one who was a brother to Jesus, a son of Mary and Joseph. If that's so, the brother doesn't fall far from the tree, because here James takes up one of the most frequent themes of Jesus' teaching: the great reversal, where the first will be last and the last first.
In the world's system, and even in our country in particular how do the principles in the first paragraph most often play out? How often are those in humble circumstances considered to be in a high position? How often are the rich humiliated? How could we help make these truths more often become reality, both in our church and in our culture at large?