Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.” 6 So we say with confidence, “The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can mere mortals do to me?” – Hebrews 13:5-6
All of us worship. It’s in our DNA to put our hope in something or someone. Worship gives us meaning and purpose in order to help fill the void in our hearts. It’s also a distraction from a seemingly cold and impersonal universe we live in. Religious or not, you do worship.
Some of us bow our heads to the god of intellect. We read countless books, grow our libraries to look prestigious in front of others, and seek more answers that really just leave us with more questions. The god of intellect, if worshipped too intensely, can lead to low self-esteem.
The god of money is another idol that many worship. It’s clear here in this verse that the love of money will not produce happiness and fulfilment in life. This is because money breeds covetousness.
The more you have, the more you want. Just like intellect. The more you learn, the more addicting it becomes. You want to get smarter. Similarly, you want to get richer. Then, you want to be the richest. This endless, vicious cycle eventually consumes you.
The same is true with the god of health and fitness. As a man, I strive to be the strongest, fastest, and greatest. Before writing this, I did 30 pushups and plan to do at least 100 today. Staying fit is good, but sometimes I push it too far. No pun intended.
My arena is swimming. At one point in college, I was training 6 days a week, 3 hours or more everyday. It was a physically intense time for me as a collegiate athlete. If you worship the god of health and fitness, you will burn out quickly. If you worship your image, you will never be content. Always striving to get stronger and better. More. More. More. Never fully satisfied.
So you get my point. All of us worship something. But let’s get back to the verse concerning the love of money. Why does the Bible warn us not to love or worship money? Why should we be content with what we have? Why does this verse end with putting trust in the Lord and not fearing mortals? Let’s break down this passage.
First, money is not evil. In fact, money can provide boundless opportunities to do good things. For example, with money you can support others less fortunate than you. With money, you can live in modesty and not worry about losing your home or other assets. Having money provides a resource for you to bless others and therefore honor God.
Notice the verse says keep yourselves from the “love” of money. Do not worship money. Do not idolize money. Do not find your self-worth in how much you have in your bank account. Otherwise, you will fail to be content and happy with your life.
God wants the best for you. He loves and cherishes your soul. If God feeds the sparrows of the land, how much more will he take care of you? As humans, we are the pinnacle of creation. We are the only created beings made in the image and likeness of God. Therefore, we can be confident the Lord wants us to be free from the love of money so that it doesn’t ruin our psyche.
When we put our hope in money, we may be disappointed. You hear about people who invest in the stock market, and when it crashes, they become severely depressed. Or how about the current pandemic situation with COVID-19. This has brought an economic collapse upon society. Millions of Americans lost their stable jobs. Without a job, you can’t produce money.
So God says don’t put your love in money. Invest in me instead. Why? Because God states He will never leave us or forsake us. You see, God is all-powerful. The economy can’t shake him. Health can’t shake him since He is immortal. Intellect can’t break him because He is omniscient (all-knowing). When you trust in God, He will be there for you because He is immovable.
This is good news. God says to us finite creatures, “Oh why do you worship created things like money, power, fame, health, and your intellect.” These things are fading, temporary, and contingent. However, God is the necessary being. He is the source of all. There is no limit to His attributes.
You want comfort? Replace money with God since He will never leave your side. Money is just an object; it doesn’t even express sympathy for your soul. It could care less if you had very much or very little. Get rid of the god of money.
You want intellect? Stop relying on philosophies that come and go. Don’t invest in the newest fad of thought. Keep yourself from buying endless amounts of books when all you really need is the word of God. Get rid of the god of intellect and replace it with the All-Knowing Lord.
You want health and fitness? Of course, do exercise and eat right, but do it for the Lord. Your body is the temple of the living God. Therefore, nurture and be good stewards of your physical being. Make it your goal to be healthy as an act of worship, rather than an excuse to serve self and your own image. Get rid of the false god of health, fitness, and achievement. Replace this god with the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords.
In the last verse, the author of Hebrews makes an interesting statement: “The Lord is my helper; I am not afraid. What can mere mortals do to me?” Why would the writer express this idea here? What is he trying to get across to the reader?
We worship because we are afraid. Afraid of the unknown. We love money because we are afraid to be poor and lonely. We worship health because we fear losing our strength and dying. We worship our mind because we fear rejection from others. We want to impress and show the world how special we really are. This is the heart of the issue.
However, these false gods can’t protect you from mortals. People can steal your money. Individuals can outperform you and receive better grades in school. There will always be a human out there stronger and healthier. These mortal beings will steal your joy if you trust in money, intellect, and health to build your self-identity.
On the other hand, when you trust in God, mere mortals can’t stop you. No human can steal your soul. No being, how powerful, can determine your final destination in life: Only God has that authority. Therefore, when you trust in Him, you have nothing to fear. He is the ultimate judge. He is the final authority.
The author of Hebrews realizes this. When we find our contentment in God instead of materialism, we will truly be free. There is nothing for us to fear. Mortals can’t steal our joy or relationship with God. This is set in stone. God has made a covenant with us. He will never leave us or forsake us.
In conclusion, this passage of Scripture rightfully warns us of living for money instead of God. For what does it profit a man if he gains the whole world but loses His soul? You can’t take money or possessions to your funeral. The only thing we have is God and the memories we have given to our loved ones.
Don’t let money bring sorrow to you. Instead, place your focus and hope in the Lord. Love the lord your God with all your heart, mind, soul, and strength. When you do this, no fear will conquer you.
When the Lord is your helper, you will not be afraid. And when God is the rock on which you stand, no mortal can push you down. Keep trusting in God and He will be your fortress and strong tower all the days of your life. Amen. Let’s pray.
Dear Heavenly Father,
Our hope is not found in money, intellect, or health. The only person that can fill the void in our lives is you. You are all-powerful, all-loving, and full of infinite wisdom. Lord, fill us with your Holy Spirit. O God, keep us from making the mistake of trusting in vain idols. Instead, remind us to look to you, the Author and Finisher of our Faith. In Jesus name I pray. Amen!
Article written by Chad A. Damitz (M.Div.)