Shhh, It’s A Secret!
By Dot Bowen
I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. Philippians 4:11 (NIV)
It seems there is so much pressure on everyone to do more and be more. For months, I worked to organize my closet and believe it is as organized as it is going to be. Yet, I keep thinking I could organize it better. I notice every unorganized area in my home and inwardly cringe creatively organized pictures on Pinterest. I get stuck between the pressure of being content versus working harder and doing more to be content. Is it possible to feel content and satisfied with what we accomplish and who we are? Do you find yourself feeling pressure to do more in life? Perhaps being satisfied and content is humanly impossible without Christ!
The Apostle Paul knew the secret of being content. In his letter to the church in Philippi thanking them for their financial support, he told them he had learned to be content in whatever circumstances he found himself. Did Paul find contentment in jail because he no longer had to worry about being flogged in the street? When Paul found himself shipwrecked, did he view it as another opportunity to take a break from preaching? Is the secret to contentment simply having a positive attitude in the midst of difficulties? I believe the secret of contentment goes far beyond thinking positively. Paul’s emphasis is on Christ, not on himself.
After Paul met Jesus, his focus went from doing for his own sake to knowing Christ. If you struggle with discontentment, I’m here to tell you the truth: you will never do or be enough. But you can find your contentment in knowing Christ. In Philippians 3 Paul wrote, “But whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ. Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord.” Paul found the secret to contentment and so can we. Contentment is found in Christ. And in Him, we have everything we need!
The Bible tells us contentment is a learned virtue. “Sip” on the following thoughts and questions throughout the week as you focus on learning to be content.
- What do you think the secret to contentment is? Be honest! Is it a bigger house? Financial security? A better job? An improved marriage? Where are you seeking contentment?
- Do you know contentment is found in Christ rather than our circumstances? Read that again. How does that statement make you feel?
- Consider Paul’s life:
- He never denied having his own needs.
- He said everything he had—power, prestige, and even his own obedience—was worthless compared to knowing Christ.
- The secret to living a satisfied life is to know why you are living. As children of Christ, our contentment will come when we live to bring Him glory rather than seeking our own recognition
- How can we live in such a way that our primary desire in life is to know Christ? We must stop trying to prove our worth in anything outside of ourselves. We must begin to find our value in Christ. We don’t have to prove anything to anyone. Our value is in the truth that we are children of God!
- Read and meditate on James 4:8.
- Research the name of God and His characteristics and remember we have all He is in us.
Further Reading Philippians 3:7-8; Philippians 4:11-13; 1 Corinthians 2:2; Ephesians 3:19