“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.’”
Explanation and Commentary of Hebrews 13:5
In this concluding section, the author reminds the church to keep going as Christians. He says to keep loving, keep showing hospitality, keeping remembering those in prison for the Gospel, keep the marriage bed pure, and “keep your lives from the love of money.” The encouragement is still toward perseverance (Heb 12:1).
These were all topics that were covered by their leaders when they first came to faith, but now a reminder is in order. By the time this letter was written, enough time had elapsed that the early church had lost many who were never really saved (1 Jn 2:19). The author is attempting to stop this from happening. The love of money was a special temptation for those who abandoned the faith (1 Tim 6:10). God provides what we need in trade for our services (generally), and we can continue to trust in Jesus who said that if we seek first the Kingdom of God and his righteousness, he will add all the other things to us that we need to to survive and even thrive (Mt 6:33).
The love of money comes with a healthy dose of fear of not having it. Do you wonder if you love money? How fearful are you about not having as much as you want? Rather than finding meaningful work, or working a job in a meaningful way, trusting God to provide for your needs, many put the pursuit of money before all else, causing them to compromise other values to get it.
Breaking Down the Key Parts of Hebrews 13:5
#1 “Keep your lives free from the love of money…”
The fact that we are admonished to keep it free, implies that it is possible to start out with no trace of love for money, only to have it creep in later and wreck our lives. We must learn to recognize the signs that we are beginning to love it. Fear of lack is a sign of a heart that loves money, along with overworking, and the envy of others with wealth.
#2 “…and be content with what you have,”
It is sweet to trust God for what you have. The goal is to work in the Lord in your job, learning to value good and hard effort. Then one must learn to manage money as a steward of all that God has provided, and not foolishly squandering it by poor stewardship. Contentment comes with a trust in God that what you have is what you are supposed to have, and a heart of thankfulness to the God who provided it.
#3 “because God has said, ‘Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.”
We either believe this, or we do not. If God can be trusted, and he can, then this should be the most comforting fact in existence. We are saved and sealed by the Holy Spirit, and we cannot lose what we have been truly given. God is not going to forget to protect us, to provide for us, and to love us. He is always going to be there when you need him. Loving money would be a sign of our disbelief in his promises.
Bible Study on Hebrews 13:5
Expert Overview of Hebrews
Biblical Translations of Hebrews 13:5
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.”
Don’t love money; be satisfied with what you have. For God has said, “I will never fail you. I will never abandon you.”
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.”
Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, “I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.”
Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have. For He Himself has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”
Natalie Regoli is a child of God, devoted wife, and mother of two boys. She has a Master's Degree in Law from The University of Texas. Natalie has been published in several national journals and has been practicing law for 18 years.