Wealth Should Be Shared, Not Hoarded
Joel Barker, a noted futurist, and the one who coined the term “paradigm” wrote a fantastic book a number of years ago in which he outlined several truths that can be helpful to you in your business, professional, and family life in the future:
- 3 keys to the future for organizations: Anticipation, Innovation, Excellence
- If you want to improve your ability to anticipate the future, don’t wait for the trends to develop. Instead, watch for people messing with the rules, because that is the earliest sign of significant change.
- The essence of the pioneering decision is: Those who choose to change their paradigms early do it not as an act of the head but as an act of the heart.
- A leader is a person you will follow to a place you wouldn’t go by yourself.
- You manage within a paradigm. You lead between paradigms.
We have noted the following five developments in the world in which we live in:
- Ours is a technologically-driven, fast-paced, change-oriented, multi-dimensional world.
- The time between past and future has now been lost; there is little “change float” left.
- Economic dislocation regularly occurs. What is certain is uncertainty.
- Communications and productivity are key ingredients to successful navigation of the 21st century.
- Values and Priorities are essential to spiritual health in an spiritually unhealthy world.
As we have gathered, it has been our attempt to demonstrate Biblical truths that can help us enter the 21st century with confidence and certainty. Six Truths from the Book of James that we have unearthed to date:
- Biblical principles are consistently true across culture and circumstance
- God desires to give wisdom to those who ask with faith
- Obedience to God means action
- God is the source of all wealth
- What you treasure affects your eternal destiny
- God’s order is pure and productive
This week, it is our goal to address two final issues. Both are somewhat difficult, in that James addresses his closing comments with rather startling and pointed direction.The first issue is that of the responsibility of wealth and employment.
James 5:1-8: Now listen, you rich people, weep and wail because of the misery that is coming upon you.Your wealth has rotted, and moths have eaten your clothes.Your gold and silver are corroded.Their corrosion will testify against you and eat your flesh like fire.You have hoarded wealth in the last days. Look! The wages you failed to pay the workmen who mowed your fields are crying out against you.The cries of the harvesters have reached the ears of the Lord Almighty. You have lived on earth in luxury and self-indulgence. You have fattened yourselves in the day of slaughter. You have condemned and murdered innocent men, who were not opposing you. Be patient, then, brothers, until the Lord's coming.See how the farmer waits for the land to yield its valuable crop and how patient he is for the autumn and spring rains.You too, be patient and stand firm, because the Lord's coming is near.
In the first century, there were many instances of wealthy persons in the church exploiting their workers. As I have said previously, those who are wealthy carry a special added responsibility. James rather explicitly and strongly provides guidance for us today:
Wealth is to be shared, not hoarded. Be a channel, not a reservoir.
Paying workers well is an investment, not an expense.
Business By the Book Brings Blessing.
The second issue is the relationship of believers to one another in the area of comfort and healing.
James 5:13-16 Is any one of you in trouble? He should pray. Is anyone happy? Let him sing songs of praise.Is any one of you sick? He should call the elders of the church to pray over him and anoint him with oil in the name of the Lord.And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise him up. If he has sinned, he will be forgiven. Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.
The Lord is our sufficiency.
Romans 8:28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.
Healing comes from God alone.
Accountability, rightly practiced, brings health.
Prayer changes people and the prayer!