9Let the lowly brother boast in his exaltation, 10 and the rich in his humiliation, because like a flower of the grass he will pass away. 11 For the sun rises with its scorching heat and withers the grass; its flower falls, and its beauty perishes. So also will the rich man fade away in the midst of his pursuits.
There comes a point when a man looks back at his life and takes stock of his mortality. In these moments, he acknowledges the plight he has been dealt by God, whether rich or poor, and reflects upon its advantages and disadvantages. It is a counter-cultural assessment of God's economy where the lowly are exalted and the rich humbled, but one that puts a trial-esque emphasis on God's provision and the impact it has on the human heart.
First, there is nothing wrong with monetary success. James is not condemning those who are financially successful, rather he is emphasizing that perspective is vital. In both cases, whether a man is entrusted with little or an abudance, how he managed the resources God provided speaks to the condition of his heart from an eternal perspective and to whom he attributes his success (himself or God).
Money is an issue that can pull a man into deep waters though when poverty or riches become worldly issues that consume the heart. Therefore, James exhorts the lowly to realize that their life on earth is temporary and eternal riches await those who trust in the Lord, while also exhorting the rich man who has humbled himself to take heart that he realizes his worldly possessions are indeed temporary. Bottom-line: Heart condition is James' focus amidst the trials of life and temptations of the world. (Forevermine-foreverthine.blogspot)
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