Not that I am referring to being in need; for I have learned to be content with whatever I have. I know what it is to have little, and I know what it is to have plenty. In any and all circumstances I have learned the secret of being well-fed and of going hungry, of having plenty and of being in need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me. — Philippians 4:11-13
So far we have looked at four ways to choose good spiritual food. We talked about repenting and renouncing, about changing taste buds through fasting, about loving God, and about setting boundaries on behavior.
Today we are talking about choosing to be content rather than constantly looking around for something else. You can always find things to entertain and amuse you. There will always be something newer…or bigger…or more exciting to put on your plate, always something more to experience. But at what point do you decide you have enough?
Philippians 4:13 is one of the most misused verse in the Bible. People use it to justify whatever they want to do—I can do whatever I put my mind to because after all, I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength. But this is not what it means.
Paul wrote this letter from prison—imagine hearing a prisoner say that he was not in need. But though Paul knew what it was like to have very little, to be hungry, to be in need, he was content. His contentment was not based on external circumstances, but was based instead on his relationship with Christ. Christ strengthened him no matter what he went through here on this earth.
Piling more things on your plate will not satisfy you. It is possible to have an over-full life and an empty soul. Choosing the good things God has for you will fulfill you. Are you always striving for newer and bigger and better or are you content with what God has given you?
To Think/Pray About Today
There is nothing wrong with having a well-rounded life, happily busy with work and family and church and volunteering. Is that how you live, or are you looking around for one more thing that might make you feel fulfilled? If it is the latter, look to Christ to give you strength to be content with what you have.
Prayer Focus: St. Paul’s AME Church