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."Hebrews 13:5(ESV)
The direction of our life, the tenor of our conversation, and the disposition of our hearts should always be pleasing to the Lord, for we are God’s children. We are to be holy for God is holy. We are to be perfect as our Father in heaven is perfect. We are to grow in grace and in a knowledge of our Saviour, Jesus Christ, as, in the power of the Holy Spirit, we are being transformed into His image, day by day.
Inner contentment is a significant key in achieving this godly objective. Hearts that seek the Lord learn to be satisfied in every situation of life and the person who is content is one that is not beset by envy or greed. Being comfortable with our life situation, kindling a heart that is content with our lot, and keeping ourselves from an attitude of covetousness, will enable us to live a positive Christian life and the writer to the Hebrews instructs us in this way: "Make sure that your character is free from the love of money, being content with what you have; for He, Himself, has said, 'I will never desert you, nor will I ever forsake you.'"
The closing chapters of Hebrews offer some excellent, ethical instructions on constructive Christian living, brotherly hospitality, and nurturing a godly concern for the needs of others, as well as giving some serious warnings about refusing God's grace and rejecting His Word. It seems, from this verse, that a spirit of contentment could be a valuable guard against developing covetousness - an ungodly behaviour that spawns discontent, jealousy, grudges, and greed.
Contentment is one of the unnamed cousins of the fruit of the Spirit, for it has conquered the evil lust of covetousness which can be identified in many ungodly behaviours... like the lusts of the world, the lusts of the flesh, and the pride of life. Contentment is the product of a God-given peace that calms a troubled spirit and brings peace to a striving soul. It is found along the path that leads to purity, and is hidden in the heart of the man or woman who rests in Christ and casts all their cares upon Him.
Contentment is not to be found in financial security nor through the acquisition of things we would like to own. It is not discovered in positions of power nor can it be secured through seats of learning. Contentment has more to do with who a man is than what a man has and Paul put it like this in his epistle to the Philippians: "I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content: I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound. Everywhere and in all things I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ Who strengthens me."
While money can be an excellent servant of man and is able to do much good, the writer to the Hebrews identifies the love of money as a key hindrance to inner contentment. In his letter to Timothy, Paul also warns that the love of money is a root of all sorts of evils and that some believers have so hankered after money as to be led astray from the faith. When the love of money rears its ugly head, it spawns a covetous heart and gives birth to a soul that is restless and discontented.
Why should we be content with what we have? The writer to the Hebrews tells us: " Be content with what you have; for He Himself has said, 'I will never desert you, nor will I ever forsake you.'" Why should we Christians cultivate a contented disposition? Well, godliness with contentment is great gain, while a discontented soul breeds murmuring against God, as was seen in Israel’s wilderness walk, and grumbling is a poisonous root of unbelief that demonstrates a lack of faith in the Lord our God.
God, in His grace, has given us many precious blessings and has promised never to leave us nor forsake us, no matter how fiercely the bitter winds of trial batter our lives and irrespective of other people who may have betrayed or hurt us. May we develop a character that is free from the love of money and may we strive to be content in all things, knowing that He Himself has promised to be with us in all the changing scenes of our lives.
Let us ponder on these comforting words of the Lord when we are tempted to envy the life of another or allow seeds of discontent to be sown in our hearts. Let us ponder on these words, rejoice in the Lord always, and be content in Him, for He has promised, "I will never leave you nor will I forsake you."
Heavenly Father, I confess that there are times when I am tempted to be dissatisfied with my life and envious of others, leaving me feeling discontented. Forgive me, Lord. May I be reminded today of that most precious blessing that You will never leave me nor forsake me. Remind me today, Lord, that as part of Your Bride I am one of the most blessed people on earth. Help me to keep my priorities in order, not looking to things of the earth for contentment but to Jesus, the Author and Finisher of my faith. In Jesus' name, AMEN.