Time to stop exploiting…

Time to stop exploiting…

James 5 v. 1 – 6

Now listen, you rich people, weep and wail because of the misery that is coming on 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 workers 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 the innocent one, who was not opposing you.’

James makes the point very sharply, that amassing wealth, storing up treasures on earth, is worthless – not only will these treasures ‘corrode’ and be eaten away, but they will also affect our well-being (‘eat your flesh like fire’).
‘Wealth is to be used in the service of others – not amassed for selfish pleasures.’
There is gospel appeal here for fair-trade, paying workers a good wage.

Lord Jesus,
help us to recognise
the wealth and the resource
You place at our disposal.

Confront our complacency,
combat our self-indulgence,
and stir our heart
with compassion
and extravagant generosity.

May we be neither envious,
nor bitter, nor aspiring
towards those with great wealth,
but rather focus
on ‘Your kingdom, Your right-living’,
and depend all the more
on Your daily provision
(Your ‘just enough…for everyone’s need
not enough…for everyone’s greed’).

Phil Gough