Welcome to DAY 21 of our online Bible study on James!
— Read: James 5:1-6 —
I’ve never been a dog person, so whenever our kids begged for a dog, I would smile and say, “Maybe someday, but not today.”
I don’t have anything against dogs, per se, but they do have a tendency to be loud, and I prefer a quiet environment. Dogs also have a way of shedding everywhere, so unless you buy one of those expensive hypoallergenic breeds, you’re inviting dog hair into your lives. Besides, I’d rather take out my trash without needing to sidestep brown clumps of stink.
Despite my best defenses, my stance about dogs changed a few Christmases ago. Besides a few stocking stuffers, we decided to get one family gift—something the whole family can enjoy. We wanted something that would encourage the kids to play in the backyard.
To this day, I’m not sure what happened.
But every time a neighbor walked a dog past our house, I watched our son gravitate towards those slobbery creatures. Our son rolled on the grass with them. He laughed while they licked him. And he no longer resembled a boy consumed with a video game. I was sold.
My husband and I searched the area and found a pair of golden pups. We brought them home to the craziest squeals of delight we’ve ever heard from our children. I admit I expected the novelty of the puppies to wear off. But four years later, I’m surprised at how much those silly dogs, Hunter and Spark, have become a part of . . . dare I say . . . our family.
Not too long ago our son walked into the living room with a dog lapping at his heels and announced, “Mom and Dad, you guys are wrong. You always say money can’t buy happiness. But money bought Hunter and Spark.” Our son spoke in jest, but with a hint of seriousness too.
If we’re really honest, we can’t help but think the same thing sometimes.
Money may not be the source of real joy, but we can’t deny that money helps some things in life go a little smoother. No matter how much or how little we think we have, most of us would like to have a little more.
One of the greatest struggles in this life is our tendency to see money as the answer to most of our problems.
In his letter James speaks to these same kinds of doubts. Owning great wealth isn’t a sin, but it is a great responsibility.
According to James, the wealthy in his day hoarded their money, indulged in it with luxurious lifestyles, and relied on it exclusively. They showed no need for God. Money was their god.
The wealth of this world will soon fade. Our money cannot save us. No matter how much we have. It’s far wiser for us to invest in eternal riches. We do this by showing kindness to others; such kindness can come in the form of a gentle word or a generous gift. Let’s live generously today.
— Diving Deeper —
In what way can you be ultra generous to someday today?
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