#DailyDevotion The Most Misused Bible Passage In America
Phil. 410It made me very happy in the Lord that now again you showed a fresh interest in me. You were interested but didn’t have a chance to show it. 11I’m not saying I need anything. I’ve learned to be content whatever my condition. 12I know how to live with too little or too much. In every way of life I’ve learned the secret of eating heartily and of being hungry, of having too much and too little. 13I can do everything through Him Who gives me the strength.
Paul gets personal with the Philippians. Sure, some of this follows from the custom of the day but the sincerity comes through as it is a response from this congregation who apparently showed a fresh interest in Paul and his work. The must have sent a letter or a person with a letter while he was in prison or house arrest. Oh yeah, when he was writing about rejoicing all the time in the LORD and not being anxious he was under guard by the Roman empire.
Now Paul wants to assure them that he isn’t writing because he needs anything from them. He tells them he isn’t saying that he needs anything. Indeed, he has learned to be content whatever his condition. He has a secret in being content whether he has too little or too much. You might think “Well who couldn’t be content having too much?” but you could have a covetous, greedy eye and mind and too much can be never enough. If you have too little, you could be in the same sort of mindset. You could just have just a right amount of stuff and still not be content. Paul says he can be content whether he is hungry or full. So what is this secret? The most abused scripture passage in the Western world.
Here is Paul secret, now get the context, pay attention! The context is being content. The context is being content whether hungry or full, having too little or too much. The secret to being content is believing, we “can do everything through Him Who gives [us] the strength.
The everything Paul is talking about is not winning soccer, football, baseball, basketball or foosball games. It is not about riding a bike for the first time or asking out that cute person of the opposite sex out on a date. It is not going for the gusto and getting that six figure career you think will make you happy. It isn’t even about evangelizing the world for Jesus. The everything is being content no matter what with your circumstances.
Being content is a big thing and something Christians should aim for. Paul says, 1 Cor. 1210 “That’s why I’m glad to be weak and mistreated, to suffer hardships, to be persecuted and hard pressed for Christ. You see, when I’m weak, then I’m strong.” He says, 1 Tim. 68 “If we have food and clothing, we should be satisfied.” Hebrews 13: 5 says,“Don’t be greedy. Be satisfied with what you have, because He said: ‘I will never leave you or desert you.’” Yes, we can be content, be satisfied through him, Jesus, who gives us the strength to be satisfied and content now matter the circumstances because Jesus never leaves us. Jesus never abandons us. He gives us his grace particularly when we are weak because as he reminds the Israelites continually, “He fights our battles for us.” So look to Jesus for the power and the strength to be content whether things are good or bad. He will accomplish this in and through you.
Heavenly Father, you know everything we need and are a good, kind, merciful, loving and loyal God to all who look to you. Give us the strength in Christ to be content no matter what our circumstances trusting you know exactly what we need even when we don’t. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.