“Make sure that your character is free from the love of money, being content with what you have” (Hebrews 13:5a)
To my knowledge I had never stopped to think about this verse before a few days ago. I can’t tell you whether I just assumed it didn’t apply to me because I didn’t have much money, or whether I just never noticed it before. But this time through the book of Hebrews I decided that I shouldn’t pass it by too quickly. Yes, I did think that my character was free from the love of money, but this verse was telling me to “make sure” that it was. When had I ever done that?
It was the second part of the verse—“being content with what you have”—that brought something to my attention. Often I feel discontented in the area of clothing. I seem to think that life would be so much easier (and I, so much happier) if I could just find a pair of pants that would fit just right, or a skirt that matches more of my shirts. My closet contains quite a few articles of clothing that only sort of work—a pair of pants that is too big in the waist but looks OK with a jacket, or a shirt that only works if I wear another shirt under it to make it longer. But I’m certainly not lacking in things to wear, and nice things to wear at that; God has blessed me abundantly. So from this point onward, with God’s help, I will seek to live in a way that demonstrates who I am: a citizen of heaven, and a steward of what He has entrusted to me here on earth.
The commands of God are there to be obeyed. And God has commanded them for our good. But apart from Him all our righteousness would be like filthy rags. What a reason to praise God that He is on our side creating in us the desire and ability to obey His commands! And what a privilege to serve One whose gift is eternal life through Jesus Christ!
The first step? For me the first specific step in obeying this command has to do with socks. The fact is, I love socks. But I don’t just like any socks. I like new, tight-fitting, soft, ankle socks. There always comes a time when I have worn holes in all of my socks, and I’m quite ready for a beautifully-fresh, clean package of socks. The catch is, we have plenty of perfectly usable socks in our storage bins that I could use. These socks have plenty of life left in them, but for some reason or other have been rejected by their wearers, and my mom has been saving them (in hope that we will use them) for years. Up until now, I have been in the habit of ignoring these and buying new ones. I complain that the ones that we already have are too loose, too scratchy, or some other way not exactly what I want. I have so enjoyed the luxury of getting new ones. What does this demonstrate to a watching world? Do they see me storing up treasures in heaven, or do they see me thinking and acting just like them in this regard? Next time I need new socks, I hope they’ll find me knee-deep in the socks we already have, for God’s glory.