Reformed pastor John Piper has warned that riches are dangerous, and said that the most important thing is to love people, not money, after a middle-class American listener admitted they fear Judgment Day for their lifestyle.
“Riches are dangerous; that message is everywhere. Simplicity for its own sake is worthless because love is what counts. Doing good, and not going without — that’s what counts. I know there are people who’ve given themselves to way more simplicity than others, and they’re loveless, while people that have more are very more loving and good is coming from their lives,” Piper said on Monday on his desiringGod.org website.
“Immerse yourself in the New Testament summons to love people, not money. It calls us to love simple beauties, not luxurious status symbols. This is so crucial,” he advised.
“The world is begging us constantly to love status symbols instead of simple beauties. Learn with Paul the secret of such profound contentment in Jesus that you know how to be abased and how to abound.”
Piper’s comments were directed at an anonymous woman who says that she is a middle-class American, and has been “filled with fear for the Judgment Day” due to the passage in James 5 in the Bible.
The passage reads in part: “Now listen, you rich people, weep and wail because of the misery that is coming on you. Your wealth has rotted, and moths have eaten your clothes. Your gold and silver are corroded. Their corrosion will testify against you and eat your flesh like fire.”
It continues later on: “Look! The wages you failed to pay the workers who mowed your fields are crying out against you. The cries of the harvesters have reached the ears of the Lord Almighty. You have lived on earth in luxury and self-indulgence. You have fattened yourselves in the day of slaughter.”
The anonymous woman says that even though she would not be considered “rich” as she lives in a “small house in a modest neighborhood,” she still enjoys many comforts, such as vacations, more clothing than she needs, desserts, and other things.
“I tithe regularly and give to some charitable organizations, but it is always with me that I could give so much more by giving up many comforts. I struggle with feeling peace with God when I feel that he will judge me harshly for living as comfortably as I do. I am wondering if God wants me to give up the pleasures and comforts that this country offers?” she asked.
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Source: Christian Post