Hebrews – Chapter Thirteen XII

by Ed Urzi

“Your conduct must be free from the love of money and you must be content with what you have, for he has said, ‘I will never leave you and I will never abandon you.’ So we can say with confidence, ‘The Lord is my helper, and I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?'” (Hebrews 13:5-6 NET).

Two sources offer a helpful perspective on the subject of consumerism that relate to our passage from Hebrews 13:5-6…

“Consumerism, for the purpose of this article, is a preoccupation with consuming more and more goods, merchandise, and services. Consumerism’s focus is on having the latest, buying the best, and getting the most. It discards last year’s model in favor of the newest, fanciest, and shiniest. It’s the attitude behind the statement ‘He who dies with the most toys wins.’

Consumerism goes beyond maintaining a healthy economy, which depends upon active trade and the production and consumption of new goods, and enters the realm of materialism. Because a consumerist mentality can lead to chronic dissatisfaction and covetousness, Christians should beware its spiritual impact. (1)

…God wants us to have a balanced perspective on money. The Bible does not condemn possessions or riches per se. It is not a sin to be wealthy. (Some very godly people in the Bible -Abraham and Job, for example- were quite wealthy.) Rather, God condemns a love of possessions or riches (Luke 16:13; 1Timothy 6:10; Hebrews 13:5). A love of material things is a sign that a person is living according to a temporal perspective, not an eternal perspective.” (2)

With these insights in mind, our text from Hebrews 13:5-6 reminds us that God will never abandon (GW) or desert (CEV) us. The original language of this passage emphasizes these assurances, thus providing the security that allows us to escape the love of money. Finally, we can meditate upon the following verses to help promote a God-honoring mindset in this area…

“…If riches increase, Do not set your heart on them” (Psalm 62:10).

“But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that” (1 Timothy 6:6-8 NIV).

“For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows. But you, O man of God, flee these things and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, gentleness” (1 Timothy 6:10-11).

(1) GotQuestions.org, “What does the Bible say about consumerism?” Retrieved 22 June, 2023 from https://www.gotquestions.org/Bible-consumerism.html

(2) Ron Rhodes, The Complete Book Of Bible Answers, Copyright © 1997 Harvest House Publishers Eugene, Oregon [pg. 347]