June 29, 2019 · Bob Gass
“I have learned how to be content.” Philippians 4:11 NLT
When you aim to grow personally and achieve things in life, these are commendable goals. But when you covet what someone else has or want to be just like them, you’re entering into territory that’s forbidden by Scripture. Contentment does not mean you should become complacent or settle for mediocrity and fail to achieve your God-given potential in life. Not at all! You’re supposed to work to improve yourself, while at the same time remaining totally dependent on God (see 2 Corinthians 3:5). Self-sufficiency means to be “sufficient in one’s self” instead of putting your faith in God’s assistance. Contentment, on the other hand, is to know with certainty and firm conviction that God is able to meet your every need (see Philippians 4:19). When you understand that truth, you don’t have to covet anyone else’s position, property, possessions, or personality. Why? Because you’re assured that all you presently have and all you are today is more than enough in the hands of God. Whatever you need to do to fulfill His will, you can do—not in your own strength but in the strength and power of Christ who dwells within your innermost being. Covetousness comes to us all naturally, but contentment must be learned. Paul wrote, “I have learned how to be content with whatever I have. I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything. I have learned the secret of living in every situation, whether it is with a full stomach or empty, with plenty or little. For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength” (Philippians 4:11-13 NLT).