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. Philippians 4:11-12 NIV
As a parent, you study your child to choose the right gifts for their birthday. You ask them about their favorite colors, and maybe even a theme for the party. You anticipate that this will be the year for their first bike. You add in a few practical gifts.
The day arrives and the child is so gleeful about the variety of gits. You give them the last gift and they tear through the wrapping. Then it happens. The child looks at you with anxious eyes and says, “do I have ANYMORE gifts?”
Paul states that he has found the secret of being content that is not contingent on any circumstance or situation. It doesn’t matter if he has abundance or nothing, his contentment stays the same.
The greek word for “learn the secret” is memyēmai. It’s root word is a disciple or learner. The word also means one who is given a secret through initiation into a mystery group. Only those in the inside circle would have this knowledge. The insight is gained experientially as you would go through the process of the initiation rights.
Paul tells the Philippians that he knows this relationship with Christ works, because he has lived both the best and worst of times. There were times in jail when he had no food delivered – he did without and still worshipped. So many in this crisis are upset because they are having to do without their normal routines for food and entertainment. There were times when he stayed with believers and he had no need to work or to be concerned with meals, they were all prepared for him. In all circumstances, he was learning the sufficiency of Christ in the lows and highs.
This subject of contentment is extremely important during our Corona crisis. Almost all the change that is happening is out of our control. You can however “learn the secret” during the process.
Some thoughts concerning the secret of contentment
- Make sure that you are a child of God. Walking through tough situations in life reveals our need for a Savior, Jesus, who is above all. When we receive Jesus into our life, He, the Prince of Peace, brings a peace that is beyond the world’s understanding. Peace with God.
- Invoke Philippians 4:6-9 in every sphere of your life. Take time to memorize all four verses. Notice each step.
- Don’t worry or be anxious
- Present request with thanksgiving
- You can verbalize to God thanks while you are in need
- You words will lead you to thankfulness, not your feelings.
- Receive by faith peace over your mind and heart
- Choose to dwell on the words found in verses 8 and 9. How should your actions and words fall into alignment with the application of words that are pure, good report etc.
- Contentment at its core is a place of sufficiency, therefore you should throw generosity and giving into your lifestyle.
- Buy extra toilet paper. Look for the person who is anxious about not having enough and give it to them.
- Ask God to show you people who need encouragement because of loss of job or illness. Then find a way to serve them. Watch their kids while they go to the store.
- John the Baptist said,“Anyone who has two shirts should share with the one who has none, and anyone who has food should do the same.”, Luke 3:11 NIV
- Freely receive, freely give.
- Don’t just be a giver, learn to be a gracious receiver.
- Paul often refers to each person as a member of Christ body, So each person needs to give and receive from others to allow Jesus’ body to function properly. The mouth can’t say to the hand, I don’t need you.
Contentment is not gained through osmosis. It’s formed through applying faith in God’s presence and promises to your specific situation. He will be faithful. You will receive peace in the storm. Then share what you have with others.
May you blessed with the learning the secret of contentment
Blessings Love y’all