“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,’ so we may boldly say: ‘The Lord is my helper; I will not fear. What can man do to me?” – Hebrews 13:5-6
As any good shepherd, pastor or teacher does, the author here is leaving us with some good moral directions. Some practical applications in life. He begins with our character and tells us to let it be without covetousness.
The word being used here for covetousness means “without love of money”. It means “free from the love of materialism; not over-influenced by the desire for financial gain; non-materialistic.” Christ followers are not to be avaricious (desiring to possess more of something than one already has or might in normal circumstances be entitled to). This is how the secular world thinks, and we are not to be like “the world”.
This was contrary teaching to what these people had been taught most of their lives. Success was based off of how much you accumulated and had in your possession. If you were rich, you were successful and influential. It is the same today. Think of the rich influential people in today’s society. When a man like Warren Buffet speaks, people listen. When he writes a book, it becomes a number one best seller. But the preacher down the street teaching truth, nobody comes to hear. And that is not just the “worldly” people, that is how the church has become too!
We are told to be content with what we have. We are to be satisfied in whatever state we are in. The true Christ follower finds peace in whatever state he/she is in because their focus is on Christ. When I am pushing and striving for more, to look successful and to gain more, my attention is on self and trust in my own skills and abilities. If that is the case, then my faith and trust in Christ has diminished.
The Bible says, “For where envy and self-seeking exist, confusion and every evil thing are there” (James 3:16). Do you find yourself wrestling inside? Maybe you are confused and think, “Why does that person have more than me?” Or maybe you think, “I want what that person has. I want to live like they do.” Be careful, you may just get what you wish for and forget about your Savior.
“If you want immediate wealth, fullness, laughter, and popularity, you can get it, but there is a price to pay: that is all you will get. Jesus did not say that these things were wrong. He said that being satisfied with them is its own judgment.” – Wiersbe