Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” 6 So we can confidently say, “The Lord is my helper; I will not fear; what can man do to me?” Hebrews 13:5-6.
“Keep your life free from love of money.”
We know as Christians that money in and of its self is not inherently evil. There are many rich people in the Bible who use their riches for good. We will one day live in wealth on the New Earth. Jesus lived in riches in Heaven before coming to earth.
But let’s be honest (like Jesus and the Bible are) and admit that money is one of the greatest temptations and sources of evil in all of our lives. Our money and stuff are forever linked to our self-worth and identity. And Jesus warns us that greed is one of the trickiest sins because nobody admits that they are greedy. Someone is always greedier than you. Greed is so relative. Where I live, the people around me, the way I earn my money, my vocation - all contribute to how we personally define greed.
You can see from our Fighter Verse above that the “love of money” is directly tied to trust and security. The author of Hebrews’ solution to greed is to trust that Jesus will “never leave or forsake us,” and that the “Lord is my Helper.” He connects the love of money to fear. “I will not fear what can man do to me?”
You see money can easily become our source of strength, security, and of course self- worth. Notice this contrast from Proverbs:
Proverbs 18: 10 The name of the LORD is a fortified tower; the righteous run to it and are safe.
Proverbs 18:11 The wealth of the rich is their fortified city; they imagine it a wall too high to scale.
What is your fortified tower or city? What is your source of strength and security? Of worth and value? Is it your money? Notice the delusion in Proverbs 18:11. “They imagine it a wall too high to scale.” They believe their money can protect them from any harm but it cannot. Instead it might just be the source of harm in their lives.
Greed and love of money lead to all kinds of ruin. It ruins nations, communities, and individuals. But mostly it is idolatry. It replaces God with money. God is to be our fortified tower (Prov. 18:10), not our stuff.
The first step is to admit that you are greedy. Are you greedy? Of course you are. Stop passing it off as the other person’s problem. It is all of our problem- whether you are “rich” or “poor”- you are greedy. “I just need a little bit more.”
Tomorrow we will explore the idea of contentment as the fruit of trust.