Ask Fred > Family > Do you think a Rich Christian person who loves our Lord will be condemned?

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Dear Fred

In James 1:9-10 it talks about the poor and the rich. Do you think a Rich Christian person who loves our Lord and wants to serve Him will be humiliated and fade away? Are only the poor going to be honored?

Fred's Response

As you know I am not a Bible scholar. However, I do know that we are not condemned because of riches but because they become idols, not tools. He gives us everything richly to enjoy, but He doesn't give us things to worship --- that is His place alone. In this passage it seems to me that He was speaking to a group of people who were alienated from their home country and were struggling to get their bearings. One of the themes of James is wisdom under various situations. In the second chapter there is a comment about who the Christians were trusting - they were trusting and elevating rich people of the world who did nothing but make their lives miserable. They were unwise about their values. I think that the fundamental sin of the rich is greed; and the fundamental sin of the poor is envy. If your possessions are treated as a stewardship and as a resource to manage you won't be found wanting. When you compare earthly riches to heavenly treasures indeed all will fade away and all will pale in comparison, but I believe that He uses money as a way to mature us. We have taught our children that money is to be a tool, not an idol. I have been poor and I have had some financial success and I wouldn't necessarily choose poverty for money gives options. Being poor doesn't automatically mean being holy and being rich doesn't automatically mean being unGodly. God will show you how to use money. It is all His and He is more interested in your soul than your bank account! I am glad that you are wrestling with these issues - it means that you are a thinking person who wants to serve well. Keep on thinking and please keep on asking.