Nov. 19, 2020, Philippians 4:10-20
Of the many lessons I’ve learned being a parent, one is that we are born discontent. From my earliest memories of my children, no one had to teach them to be dissatisfied with what they didn’t have. I love my kids, but they often struggle with the lie that if they only had __________, they would be happy. The thing is—it never leaves us. What starts as wanting others’ toys, as we grow older, turns into wanting someone else’s house, car, family life, marriage, job, and the list goes on and on.
In the world of social media that we live in, the battle with discontentment is even more difficult. So many of us get caught in the trap of comparing our behind the scenes to everyone else’s highlight reels online. We forget no one’s life is quite as perfect as it may seem. Yet the truth is, discontentment comes easy, but contentment is learned.
This is why Paul writes in Philippians 4:11-12, “…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." Paul learned to be content. It is a process of pushing back against our flesh and living free from the lie that having more of something makes you something more.
How do we do that? Trying harder? Being an optimist? The power of positive thinking? No, something way better. Paul says in verse 13: “For I can do everything through Christ who gives me strength.” Contentment is not self-sufficiency, but Christ-sufficiency. Only when we turn to Jesus daily to fill our souls will we have what we need to fill the ache inside for more.
Questions for reflection:
- What areas of life are the hardest for you to find contentment in? Your job, family, marriage, finances, relationships? Stop and ask God to show you what lie you might be believing.
- Why is Christ-sufficiency such a better solution for contentment than self-sufficiency?