One of my college professors once brought in an enlarged photograph of his son on Christmas morning. The boy, about four years old, was sitting on the floor wearing a brand new football helmet. All around him were his presents – toy trucks, cars, balls, games – a sea of presents. But he had the sourest, saddest face you can imagine.
All of the many gifts, all of the many possessions did not make him happy. And the same can be said of so many people in the world. Having an abundance of money or possessions can not bring happiness.
Near the end of his letter to the church in Philippi, Paul offers thanks for the gifts (and we can assume he is talking about cash) the church has given him. What does he express in verse 10? What explanation does he give in verse 11? What does he say about his attitude in verse 12? What truth is offered in verse 13?
Paul thanks the church for their concern, but quickly explains that he is not responding as someone who is desperately in need. His appreciation is not in the amount given, but in the attitude that the church has toward him.
Paul has been through good times and bad. He has known wealth and success, and he has experienced poverty. We know from the book of Acts and other letters that Paul has enjoyed fame and popularity, but he has also experienced beatings and imprisonment.
But through it all he has found the ability to be content with what he has. And where does that contentment come from? Paul is able to be content in all things because he knows God is always with him. He has invested himself in spiritual food, and he has shunned the evils of wealth. His attitude is always one of good cheer, giving to God of his time and efforts gladly.
Paul credits God with all of his abilities. And he credits God with all that he has, content with what he has been given, whether a little or a lot. From Paul we have a lesson in our own attitude toward what we have and what we can do.
DAILY CHALLENGE: How can you find contentment in every situation?