My immediate feeling after reading James 5, is kind of a disappointment in myself. You see, I believe the rich that is being talked about in this chapter is all of us. If you are sitting at home reading this reflection on your smartphone or laptop with a nice cup of coffee beside you, you are in the top 10% wealthy people on this planet. But I think this chapter goes so much deeper than talking about rich vs. the poor.
It seems to me that God wants four different things from us before he comes. I think the first section doesn’t necessarily attack those are wealthy, but addresses those with poor priorities. If your priority is to make money and spend it on yourself, then I think the undertone message at the beginning of James is quite clear. Our priority isn’t money or possessions, it’s God.
The second section addresses patience. Here’s a bit of a curveball: people will exploit or take advantage of you. It seems that your response shouldn’t be anger, but to be patient. Be patient and know that God is still on the throne.
The third section addresses prayer. There is no need that prayer cannot meet, and prayer cannot solve. Do you truly believe this?
The last section addresses ministry to individuals. Can you detect when a fellow believer starts to stray? Are you even concerned for them? Will you try to help? Will you wait too long?