Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. James 1:17
Christians must understand the difference between source and resource. The source is where something comes from. It is the person or place of origin of something. For example, a well is the source of underground water, or the sun is the source of constant energy. Resource emanates from a source to perform some function. For example, we buy groceries from a supermarket. The source of the groceries is the supermarket. Once we have the groceries, they are a resource of food.
In today’s text, James reminds us that God is the source of every good and perfect gift. Everything created on earth and in the heavens come from God. God provides the resources we need to live. Money is a resource and not a source. Unfortunately, too many people think of money as the source of their happiness. Others treat money as the source of their financial blessings while disregarding the God who provided them with their financial resource.
When a resource is turned into a source, it can lead to idolatry. Indeed, some people who think that money is the source of their happiness are tempted to hoard it and do anything necessary (ethical or unethical) to get more of it. Regrettably, there are many cases where money causes grief. God is the source of peace, joy, and happiness. He is the one who provides the financial resources to meet our physical needs.
It is a mistake to treat God only as a resource. Unfortunately, many people use the name of God for personal gain. Others use his Church to enrich themselves or as their personal playground. They forget that God is also the source of eternal judgment and unimaginable wrath. Thus, it is necessary to read the Bible, so we can learn to worship God for who he is, and not only for the things that he does.
The Bible is the source of divine instructions needed for living ethically and godly. It is the source of divine teachings for living a purpose-driven life. Every preacher of the word of God is resourcing his word. That is, they take the word of God to do the work of ministry. People should be careful not to idolize those who are resourcing the word to do God’s kingdom will.
Some people spend more time listening to their spiritual leader than reading the Bible. Many of these people get distraught when their leader experience spiritual or ethical failure. They forget about Jeremiah 3:15, where God said to his people that he will give them shepherd (pastors) according to his own heart to feed them with knowledge and understanding. That means all spiritual leaders are resources.
One thing for sure, the source of divine revelation can never be corrupted. The word of God cannot fail. The word is authentic in its teachings, and it is original in its messaging and transformative in its impact. The word of God points us to Jesus, who is the source of divine salvation. Jesus is the source of divine mercy for the struggling soul. He is the source of healing for the sick and the source of comfort for the brokenhearted. Our peace and joy originate from Jesus.
Do not make the mistake of thinking that your prominent profession is the source of your financial blessing. Nor should you think of the car that you drive, or the extravagant home you live in as the source of your contentment. These things are but resources. If you really want to know the source of everything and everyone that you love, read the word of God. Then you will be able to use all your blessings as resources for kingdom building to the glory of God.
Prayer- Blessed Lord, thank you for being the source of every good and perfect gift for your creation. Please help us to never treat you as a resource in our pursuit of personal satisfaction.