“I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything through him who gives me strength.” – Philippians 4:11-13
The word “content” means to be satisfied or otherwise pleased with what you have. It means not having a desire for something more or something different. Of course, you probably knew that already. But let’s think about this concept for a bit.
Do you know of anyone whom you would describe as content? Someone who is happy with who they are? Or maybe someone who is entirely satisfied with where they are and what they have? It’s not impossible to know someone like that, but it’s rare in our culture. The world we live in seems to place a high value on getting or being “more.” Contentment doesn’t often show up in our vocabulary. But if you’ll take a moment and read Philippians 4:11-13, you’ll see a picture of contentment. The Apostle Paul lived 2,000 years ago. And from what we have of his writings, we can quickly tell that he discovered the key to being content.
What was Paul’s secret? He discovered that what he needed to satisfy his desires was wrapped up in God. More stuff will never fill our souls. Even fame and notoriety fails to please most celebrities. No, contentment is found in a loving, committed relationship with a Holy God who loves us and lives in us.
Paul would tell you today that as a Christ-follower, the highest level of contentment comes the more thoroughly you follow Christ.
Think about this:
- As you go through your week, think about the calling to be a disciple and the contentment Paul spoke about in today’s devotion passage. Can you see the connection?
- Are you content with who you are? How is your contentment, or lack of it, tied to how close you are with Christ?
- What things, relationships, or attitudes come in between you and God? How might your heart be more satisfied if those things weren’t in between you and God?