Dec. 17, 2020

What Does Philippians 4:10-11 Mean?

What Does Philippians 4:10-11 Mean?

Philippians 4:10–11 (NIV): I rejoiced greatly in the Lord that at last you renewed your concern for me. Indeed, you were concerned, but you had no opportunity to show it. I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances.


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Transcript

Hey, welcome to The Simple Truth. I’m Julie Carruth

As we move into the final portion of chapter four in Philippians, Paul fully addresses his gratitude for the financial gift he received from the church in Philippi. It’s interesting to note that some Biblical scholars believe that today’s verses are the start of a letter that was immediately sent to the church in Philippi thanking them for their gift. And then the rest of the letter was sent later. Their reasoning? Well, who in the world waits until the end of a letter to finally make a big deal over a financial gift? But Paul had a purpose behind this. Paul was this incredible genius, and he strategically lays out his points for the church in Philippi. Throughout his letter, Paul continues telling us about joy and the need to rejoice through the good times and the bad times. Whether in prison or a free man. And most recently in Philippians chapter 3 verses 6-7 Paul says to not be anxious about anything.  So, keeping all this in in mind, let’s look at Philippians chapter 4 verses 10-11, “How I praise the Lord that you are concerned about me again. I know you have always been concerned for me, but you didn’t have the chance to help me. 11 Not that I was ever in need, for I have learned how to be content with whatever I have.” 

So, Paul says, “I’m thrilled we’ve reconnected. I know you’ve wanted to support me but haven’t had the chance to lately and that’s ok because (get this here) I’ve learned to be content no matter what situation I’m in.” Now, in Greek, that word “content” means to be “self-sufficient” or “to be satisfied.” It’s having a state of mind that’s independent of all things and all circumstances.  

And at first glance, if you didn’t consider the rest of this letter, it’s almost like Paul is saying, “Thanks for the gift, but you really didn’t need to send it because I’m content. I’m satisfied.” But what’s our context here? Remember, Paul’s been reminding the Philippians to rejoice no matter their circumstances. So, what Paul’s really saying here is, “I’m deeply, truly grateful for your gift, but I also want you to know that with or without it, I am still content and you should imitate me and be the same way no matter what you’re facing.”

So, your Simple Truth for today: No matter your circumstances, you have the power to be content. Join tomorrow as Paul gives us his secret of how to do it.  Join us in your podcasting app, or simply ask your Amazon smart speaker to “Play Bible Study.”

Have a blessed day. I’ll see you tomorrow.