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I think he knows ‘the secret’...


…for I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation

Phil 4:12b


“I think he knows ’the secret’!”


On Sunday I was carrying a toddler while talking to a friend. The toddler was licking his fingers and had an enormous smile on his face…

“He looks so happy” we said “I think he knows ’the secret’!”


In his letter to the Philippians, Paul writes that he has ‘learned the secret of being content … whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want’ and it’s as a result of 'him who gives me strength'


3 things stick out to me about Paul’s words in these verses (Phil 4:10-13):


1) we have to learn contentment, we’re not born with it.

Our natural state is to strive for more, and to keep looking for things to temporarily titillate. I think what the apostle is saying to us here is that he had learned not only to experience contentment, but that which is real contentment. The process of learning this is to learn a new definition of contentment.


2) both poverty and wealth are equally regarded as trials.

Sounds weird right?! We are inclined to view poverty as a trial, but abundance as a blessing, and are continually seeking after a state in which we have everything we want. But contentment is not having all you want, but wanting what you have.


3) Jesus is the secret to victory over these imposters

This is the theme that runs through nearly every verse of Paul's letter to the church in Philippi, a continual harking back by Paul to that great discovery in his life when he learned that he had nothing in himself, but that ‘in Christ’, Paul had sufficiency for every situation.


How content are you? Does your face radiate like a finger-licking toddler, or do you murmur and complain because of lack or excess?


I want to be like Paul…and I want to be like David, whose thirsty soul would only be satisfied by God (Ps 63), and who asked for and sought after God alone (Ps 27). Don’t you want to live having learned a new definition of contentment?

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