Why do we put so much value in the $1 bill which only lasts for 18 months before it is taken out of circulation according to factmonster.com? A $5 bill on the other hand lasts two years, $10 bills last three years, $20 bills last four years, and $50 & $100 bills last a whopping nine years. These are just limits though. If a bill is “worn out from everyday use” it is taken out of circulation possibly before it was designated to be. Are you surprised? It is just paper people! What did you expect?
That paper we use as a source of exchange can have so much power in someone’s life that they lose focus of its finiteness. The cash money that you use today will literally be out of circulation in a matter of months. James wrote concerning rich people, “Your riches have rotted and your garments are moth-eaten. Your gold and silver have corroded, and their corrosion will be evidence against you and will eat your flesh like fire. You have laid up treasure in the last days” (5:2-3). James wants to put eternity into perspective for those who lay up treasures for themselves here on earth and in the process neglect to lay up treasures for themselves in heaven. Jesus taught we can know where our treasure is by knowing where our heart is (Matt. 6:21).
So, is having money evil? Paul wrote, “For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils. It is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pangs” (1 Tim. 6:10). Money is amoral. In other words, it is neither good nor bad. The same money that was used to feed a hungry family could have been used for an illegal drug transaction. The money is not the problem; it is the user of the money that causes issues. When we put our love and faith in money, this is where evil enters into the equation. Having money is never condemned, but ample warning is given to those who possess it, “How difficult it will be for those who have wealth to enter the kingdom of God” (Mark 10:23)! It is possible for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God because “all things are possible with God” (Mark 10:27). James finished out his warning to the rich by advising them to be fair with people and keep a constant check on their righteousness (5:4-6). Where is your treasure?