Sometimes the Bible appears to contradict itself, but actually through these types of Scriptures we find the balance God desires. For example, Jesus said, “But when you do a charitable deed, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, that your charitable deed may be in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will Himself reward you openly” (Matthew 6:3–4). But, on the other hand, He said, “Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us” (1 Peter 2:12, NIV). There is both the life beneath the soil and the life above the soil. There is that balance.
Proverbs 30:8–9 says, “Give me neither poverty nor riches—feed me with the food allotted to me; lest I be full and deny You, and steal, and profane the name of my God.” It is not being rich or being poor that is important. What is important is honoring God.
James talks about rich people—the millionaires of today—coming to church wearing gold rings and fine clothes. But the point James is trying to get across has nothing to do with rich people selling all their gold and expensive things. Instead, he says not to give more honor to the rich people than to the poor people who come (see James 2:3–4). You see, in the church you have both groups—rich and poor. The balance is kept with love, not with external agendas.