Let the lowly brother boast in his exaltation, and the rich in his humiliation, because like a flower of the grass he will pass away. 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. - James 1:9-11
One of the best images often stated is that a U-Haul trailer will not be following a hearse. Basically, it is stating that we cannot take our possessions with us when we die. This accounts for people at both ends of the spectrum: the rich and poor.
Often, people will look at this passage and assume that it’s only referring to rich people. That would be incorrect. The financially rich are not the only ones carrying baggage that will not get off the train. Even the lowly. Even the ones that believe they can bring their “humility” as a peace offering before God.
One of the biggest charades in America today is the assumption that greed only exists with the rich. The well-to-do people are hoarding the “good stuff” away from those who cannot afford it because systems worked against their achievements. So, laws are pursued, or they empower those lobbying, for equality. The concept of true contentment is lost because we are constantly reminded that “we deserve.”
We cannot escape the reality that humanity has an entitlement problem. The rich feel entitled to have more and the poor feel entitled to that of the rich. The cycle of envy and covetousness continues with little success to hide it. Great effort goes into not revealing our true intentions, but God knows.
Terms like privilege, inequality, and redistribution all point to the undeniable fact that man struggles to appreciate what they have. Before touching those three (3) main precepts of socialism; let’s take a gander at its predecessor: hedonism. Looks like a big word but it summarizes the second half of the Ten Commandments.
#6 "You shall not murder.
#7 "You shall not commit adultery.
#8 "You shall not steal.
#9 "You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.
#10 "You shall not covet your neighbor's house; you shall not covet your neighbor's wife, or his male servant, or his female servant, or his ox, or his donkey, or anything that is your neighbor's." - Exodus 20:13-17
Murder, adultery, stealing, lying and coveting! These are not the predecessors but the building blocks to the tenets of socialism. The initial intentions may have been pure and noble; however, the ideology is flawed because it’s founded on the precept of being discontent.
Unhappy with our disposition in life, we seek many ways to improve it and make it more palatable. The most common thing we ask ourselves, “Isn’t there more to life than this?”
More money, bigger house, more land, better car, meaningful relationship, brighter future for our kids and most important: more! Even those seeking peace and solitude at monasteries are WANTING MORE! Albeit, more balance but it is still a never-ending pursuit for more.
Socialism attempts to legitimize our inability and unwillingness to be content for ourselves and others. The glorification of Robinhood has lead to the rebellion of socialism. There is no doubt that there are rich people who acquired their wealth in unethical business practices.
In an effort to right those wrongs, the line of impartiality has been obliterated because it is assumed that those who suffer collateral damage can survive the foray. Those struggling with jealousy and envy are at the helm and mercy is furthest from their hearts.
This amplifies the fact that theft is taking place, in order, to make things correct or equal. Worse, Christians, Christ followers, are giving heartfelt support to this legacy of envy and theft. Christians have taken to the malevolent ways of Robinhood and forsaken the benevolent ways of Jesus.
In the fishers of men account (Luke 5:1-11), Jesus had the men recast their nets for fish and it brought a bounty. Jesus provided the bounty, they worked to collect it. Jesus didn’t forcefully take away from His future disciples to provide for those in want.
In the feeding of the five thousand (Matthew 14:13-21), Jesus put out the call for anyone willing to share. From that came forth a person who provided two fish and bread. Jesus created the abundance after people listened to Him to contribute. The food was volunteered, not forcefully taken
Do you see the pattern? Jesus found people with nothing and barely nothing and made something. Nicodemus (John 3:1-21) and Zacchaeus (Luke 19:1-10) were not men turned away from Jesus. Both saw the futility of their old ways. They saw their fortunes as only temporary and sought the True Giver of Eternal Treasure.
Jesus told the rich man to sell all his possessions and follow Him (Matthew 19:21). But the entanglements of life were too great to forsake. Jesus is telling many Christians to stop seeking after another person’s treasure and they, too, cannot let go. So, we make this journey weighed down by the “goals and guarantees” of this world. In the end, we give up living a freer life. Why? Because we had to have more.