Money has submerged itself into almost every area of our lives today; it’s difficult to go a full day without encountering money in some way. We buy, sell, deposit, withdraw, share, compare, invest; we even spend a substantial amount of time thinking about money and what we can do with what we have or will have. Money is impossible to practically escape. We must constantly be weary of the weight money can have on our hearts because our sinful flesh delights in wealth. When sin entered the world through Adam and Eve, the potential for monetary idolatry commenced. Thus, money can replace Christ on the throne of our hearts if we allow it to.
This treacherous act of serving money rather than God is one that, once it begins, creates an endless pursuit for more, and more, and more. When the eyes of our heart fixate on money rather than on Christ we run toward a finish line that does not exist. People drown themselves in the pursuit of money, for all kinds of reasons. Yet there will never be enough money to fully satisfy our hearts because only God has enough treasure and wealth to give us fullness of joy and pleasures forevermore (Psalm 16:11).
Yet how effortlessly and swiftly money can command our hearts to strive for more wealth; and when we strive, or toil for money we tend to go all out. There aren’t enough hours in the week to work so that we might gain all the wealth we can. We allow our bodies, relationships, and hearts to suffer and wither because of our incessant work schedules. Moreover, a sobering verse from Proverbs instructs us to not fall into this cycle of greed. “Do not toil to acquire wealth; be discerning enough to desist” (Proverbs 23:4). To paraphrase: stop draining yourself for more money; know how to find contentment.
So, how can we get out of the rut of chasing money? How can we stop toiling for more wealth? Where do we find the knowledge to know when to cease? When our lives are scheduled around earning money, how can we discover the way toward contentment?
A foundational truth that will help to create a God-honoring infrastructure for contentment in our hearts is found in Hebrews 13:5. The writer to the Hebrews writes: “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).
The means by which we can keep our lives free from love of money and be content is because, or “for,” we have a promise given by God that absolutely can fulfill our hearts! Another way of phrasing this verse would be: “He has said, ‘I will never leave you nor forsake you,’ therefore, be content with what you have and keep your life free from love of money.” We cannot keep our lives free from love of money without first knowing, trusting, and cherishing the promise given to us by God that He will never leave us nor forsake us.
Only out of a heart that is permeated with God’s presence and promises comes a contentment no matter the amount of wealth one might have. Whether we have an abundance or we are in great need, we can trust in the Lord with all our heart (Provers 3:5) with an absence of anxiety because God will provide for us as he does for all of creation. Thus, instead of greed or envy filling our hearts, our hearts may overflow with the joy and hope of knowing Christ as supreme and valuable in our lives. This hope that we have been born into is not an empty hope; rather, it is one that leads to an “inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading” (1 Peter 1:4). No amount of human toiling can begin to approach the all-surpassing wealth of having God with us. Therefore, let us fix our eyes on Christ, who reconciled us back to God, and forever find true contentment in him. Remember His promise to us. Be satisfied with God and not with money. Give Him glory for what you have received.