Let your way of life be 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”. Hebrews 13:5
Free From the Love of Money – Money is always an issue, isn’t it? If you have a lot, the issues are how to keep it, spend it and use it without being attached to it. If you have only a little, the issues are about getting it, saving it and spending it without being preoccupied with it. Unless you understand God’s view of money, it will always be a stress point in your life.
The author of Hebrews uses a word, a single Greek word, that helps us understand what God thinks about money. The word is aphilarguros. If you were Greek, you would see immediately what this word is all about because it is made up of three other words. The first is the Greek negative (a) for “not”. The second is philos, a word that means “friend”. The last is arguros, the Greek word for “silver” (which is why the chemical symbol for silver is Ag). If you combine these, you get “not a friend of silver” and, of course, that is why we translate the word, “not a lover of money”. But let’s take a closer look. The core of this word is philos. It means more than “friend”. It means, “beloved, dear, befriended and kind”. It is the word for someone cherished. It’s a very personal, relationship-based word. That’s the point behind the use in this verse. Money is not to be your cherished friend. Money is not to become as close to you as a brother or sister. Money is not to fall into the relationship category.
Here is the basis for the often-quoted phrase, “Use things, not people”. The author of Hebrews is quite clear. Money is to be used, not embraced and cherished. If you want to be free of the grip of money, see it for what it really is: a tool provided by God to do his will. Like all things in the world (as opposed to people), money is no different than wood for building, clay for making pots, dirt for landscaping, water for drinking or air for breathing. Money has no value in itself. It is valuable only insofar as it serves the Creator, just like everything else He had provided. Money belongs to God. The dirt, the air, the water is not yours either. But you have been given the right to use it all as a steward of His property. Since it is not yours, how you use it should be determined by His authority.
How can you handle this potent symbol of the world’s domination of things without becoming infected by its demand to be treated as a friend? It’s simple. Use it up under God’s direction. Let it flow like water through you into His service. Think it no more important than the dirt under your feet. It’s there only to accomplish getting you someplace in the Kingdom.