Rich in Faith

Rich In faith

“Many entreat the favor of the nobility, and every man is a friend to one who gives gifts.  All the brothers of the poor hate him; How much more do his friends go far from him! He may pursue them with words, yet they abandon him (Proverbs 19:6-7 NKJ). Again, “Many will seek the favor of a generous person, and every person is a friend to him who gives gifts. All the brothers of a poor person hate him; How much more do his friends abandon him! He pursues them with words, but they are gone.” (NASB). 

We all like to be liked. We all like the one who pays attention to us. When someone does us a favor or gives us a generous gift, we tell everyone. We talk all about the one who bestowed the favor on us. If the President of the United States asked us to a State Dinner, we would fill so special. “The President actually invited me.” If Warren Buffet gives us a gift of stock in one of his many companies, he’d be our best friend.

However, the brothers of the poor act like he is not even alive. It’s not that they hate him, though they may, but they act like he is not even present. “The relatives of the poor despise them; how much more will their friends avoid them! Though the poor plead with them, their friends are gone” (English Standard Version). 

Is there a more blatant demonstration of partiality? Let a noble, famous, or rich man pay attention to us, and we are somebody. But a person of little standing, little value to us, and little to offer to us, we turn and act like they’re not alive. James offers this warning;  “For if a man wearing a gold ring and fine clothing comes into your assembly, and a poor man in shabby clothing also comes in,  and if you pay attention to the one who wears the fine clothing and say, ‘You sit here in a good place,’ while you say to the poor man, ‘You stand over there,’ or, ‘Sit down at my feet,’  have you not then made distinctions among yourselves and become judges with evil thoughts?” (James 2:2-4, ESV)

Who gets more attention? Who gets the prized position? The rich man or the poor man? The man who drives up in a Rolls Royce or the man who drives up in a car that smokes so bad it kills every mosquito? The man in a custom-made suit or the man in clothes with dirt caked on?

The Lord condemns partiality as strongly as He does adultery and murder. Yet, while it seems to get little attention, it may be violated more often than the other two. 

It’s not the “rich man” or “poor man” that is accepted by God. It is the man who is rich in faith (James 2:5). So, if a brother is successful and rich in faith applaud him. If a brother is impoverished and rich in faith praise him.

Let’s give attention not to riches or poverty but to those rich in faith.