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.’ Hebrews 13:5
Throughout the Bible we are told to keep ourselves free from the love of money. This flys in the face of what culture tells us we need to be happy. But we shouldn’t ignore the meaning of Hebrews 13:5. The reality is wealth cannot provide what it promises, and this passage points us in a better direction.
This verse holds a warning and a promise that we can change our lives and faith. So, let’s spend a few minutes diving into this passage and see what we can learn.
The Context Of Hebrews 13:5
The book of Hebrews was written to Jews who started following Jesus. Now because of their faith they were facing persecution from Jews who didn’t believe in Jesus. They were being pressured and tempted to turn their backs on Jesus. This book is written to encourage its readers to stand strong in their faith and keep their eyes on Jesus.
In the first nine chapters we see the New Covenant in Jesus compared to the Old Covenant. The argument is clearly seen that the New Covenant is far superior. From chapters 10-12 the author of Hebrews is encouraging the readers to hold fast to these truths even in the face of persecution. The first nine chapters focus on the why, and the next three focus on the application.
As we get to Hebrews 13 the book is wrapping up, and we see a few more reminders of Christian living and points to Jesus as our example of how to live. In Hebrews 13:1-4 we see an emphasis on brotherly love, an avoidance of sexual immorality, and a focus on hospitality.
It’s in this final section that we see the verse we are looking at. It has to do with living in light of what Jesus has done for us. It’s important that we remember this as we dive into the meaning of Hebrews 13:5. This is our response to the New Covenant, the work of Jesus. He’s done so much for us and in response, we are to live this way.
The Meaning Of Hebrews 13:5
Let’s take a close look at the Hebrews 13:5 meaning and see what we can learn.
Keep Your Lives Free From The Love Of Money
Hebrews 13:5 is found in this section that is encourages readers to practice moral Christian behavior. There are other places in the Bible that expound more on each of these individual things, but here it’s more of a list of things that can be harmful for followers of Jesus.
In this particular verse we see a warning that is common throughout the Bible: the danger of greed. This wording sounds very similar to 1 Timothy 6:10 and both of these verses often get twisted to say, “Money is the root of all kinds of evil.” But that’s not what either is saying.
Rather the warning that is found in this verse, and throughout the Bible, is that the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil. In other words, when we have an unhealthy desire it will lead many to ruin.
The warning of Hebrews 13:5 isn’t to avoid money, or hate it, but to not love it. Money is not the problem, the LOVE of money is the issue. Money is a neutral thing. It is not inherently good or bad. How we use it and view it determines if it’s good or evil.
Be Content With What You Have
Rather than loving and pursuing money, we should be content with what we have. The writer is saying it’s possible to have and use money without sin; it can even be enjoyed. But money cannot be loved. Whatever we have we should be content.
The love of money has ruined many lives. And I often see people who think money isn’t a problem for them because they don’t have much. But the warning here is about the love of money and being eager for it. This has nothing to do with the number of zeros in our bank account. Rather the desire in our heart.
Christians ought to be thankful for what they have and place their hope in God for what they need.
Never Will I Leave You Never Will I Forsake You
How can we have hope when we are facing struggles? Because God will never leave or forsake us.
Remember the context here; these people were facing persecution. Part of that meant that they had lost wealth, property, and jobs. The encouragement here is to not grasp at and long for more wealth. Rather it means that we rely on God for his provision.
This is what followers of Jesus should focus on today. So many Christians have bought into the lie that the good life is found when we get more and more and more. But that kind of life doesn’t lead to what we hope for. The message that is consistent throughout the Bible is that it is God who provides.
So, we should lean into this promise, “never will I leave you, never will I forsake you.” We need not worry because the creator of the universe is on our side.
Applying The Hebrews 13:5 Meaning To Your Life
The message that comes out of this verse is that we should be content with what we have. How is that possible? Because we have Jesus and he will never leave us.
Because of God’s provision and care for us we can be content with where we are at and what we have. When we are facing a problem or have a need, we are tempted to try and solve it ourselves. But for followers of Jesus we ought to lift our eyes to the one who will provide. He will take care of his children.
Now, this doesn’t mean that we will always have what we want, that our lives will be smooth sailing and we will never struggle. Rather it means that God’s promises are true. He will give us what we need to get through the day. And one day all the wrongs of this world will be made right, and we will live in eternity with him.
We can be content in this life because we have hope in Jesus’ saving work on the cross that cannot be taken away from us. The other things in life cannot compare to what we have in Jesus. So whether we have a lot or a little in this world should be of high concern to Christians, because we have something of immense value in Christ.
The meaning of Hebrews 13:5 is a challenge for Christians to not overvalue money because it can never deliver what we hope. Rather we should be content with what we have and fix our eyes on Jesus. If we do that we will find peace and joy that cannot be taken away from us.
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