Most people come back from mission trips very cynical as they look around at the waste and disregard of money in their culture.
I’d hate to be that guy. Well… I’m not actually.
My response isn’t merely cynicism. I could only be a cynic and a hypocrite with this issue. So can’t really go there. Instead it’s sadness, for my culture and myself. I feel what James says, that the “fine appearance” of riches “comes to nothing” and will “wither away in the midst of… busy lives.” Money isn’t evil, but the busyness and appearance of our lives can be. Even our apparent lives of faith.
“What use is it, my dear family, if someone says they have faith when they don’t have works? Can faith save such a person? Supposing a brother or sister is without clothing, and is short even of daily food, and one of you says to them, ‘Go in peace; be warm, be full! – but doesn’t give them what their bodies need – what use is that? In the same way, faith, all by itself and without works, is dead.” – James 2:14-17