Daily Thoughts : September 29th
Phil 4:11 I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances.
Paul has just said something to the Philippians that could have left them thinking he is asking for resources, but that is not his point. Oh no, he says, I'm not asking for anything because I am quite contented with what I've got. In fact he goes further than this; he says he has learned to be content whatever the circumstances.
Because we live in an age of advertising, we are being constantly nudged to be dissatisfied with what we have. Get more, get better. Computers and the Internet is a classic example. We are constantly being encouraged to have ‘updates'. Now some of those, certainly, are to counter viruses but some are simply to have bigger and better programmes. TV makeover programmes, whether for home or garden, are constantly suggesting improvements. Don't settle for anything less than the most modern is a message conveyed.
How far this is from the Biblical injunction not to covet what others have, and to learn to be content with what you have - whatever the circumstances. Paul said to Timothy, “godliness with contentment is great gain.” (1 Tim 6:6). The two things go together. When we are ‘godly' and God is our central focus, we find in Him a contentment that doesn't want (or need!) to keep on getting more. Getting more is often similar to “comfort eating”; something we do to compensate for what we feel. Knowing God creates contentment with who we are - whatever the circumstances.
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