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Archive for January 14th, 2015

Are you content?

Posted by appolus on January 14, 2015

Are you content? Boy, that is a loaded question. I would argue, if you broke it all down, that this is what the majority of the people of the world are looking for, contentment. Now, how to achieve that is the question for the world but also a very serious question for Christians. The world makes all the mistakes in attempting to achieve contentment, yet so do many Christians. The people of the world believe, in general, that contentment comes through material possessions. Let us have a look at what the word actually means.

The Greek word is ” autarkes,” and it literally means self-complacent or self-sufficient. This is why there is a such a tie to material possessions. The context of Philippians chapter four where Paul states ” I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content,” is in the context of a gift of money having been sent to him by the Philippians. So there is no doubt that the main theme of this particular text is money or material possessions. And of course, this is one of the worlds primary pre-occupations.

Now if this is one of the worlds primary pre-occupations and the world, in general, is not content, then the gathering and the storing of money in order to bring about peace and contentment is obviously flawed. Money, whether having a lot of it or none at all , cannot produce peace or contentment. The problem with that truth is that almost no one believes it. The lie is so great, that the majority of the world spend the majority of their life in pursuing more money in the hopes that if they just have enough, whatever that is, then this will lead them to peace and contentment. Yet statistics show that a great majority of those who commit suicide are wealthy. You see, the poor hope to be rich one day, in the mistaken notion that it will bring about contentment and therefore they have hope and have something to strive for, even although it is akin to believing that there is an actual pot of gold at the end of a rainbow. The wealthy, on the other hand, know that their riches have not brought them the peace and the contentment which they sought and so often times hope is lost which leads to suicide. It is similar to Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz finally getting to meet the great and notable wizard and discovering he is just a man behind a curtain pulling levers.

Now the stoic Greeks believed in being content yet this meant something very different to them, closer I would argue to the truth, but still very flawed. To the Greeks, contentment was a state of dispassionately accepting whatever state you found yourself in by drawing on your own inner strength, you own self. In order to cope with all that life threw at them, the best they could hope for was a dispassionate state. The Apostle Paul taught something very different in the Scriptures and he was a great example for us to learn from.

Consider Paul’s position in life even as he was writing his epistle to the Philippians. He was writing this letter from prison, he had lost everything in life. He had been very wealthy from a wealthy family and had lost all of that. He had held a high position in Jewish society and now he was hated. He once had an abundance of money and now he had nothing, in fact he had to rely upon the charity of those whom he had preached the gospel too. He had found himself homeless and oftentimes just had the clothes upon his back. He had been scourged many times almost to death. He had been imprisoned in the deepest dungeons. He had oftentimes went hungry. He had been stoned almost to death and had been shipwrecked on more than one occasion and drifting at sea. He would ultimately die a martyr’s death and he knew this because it had been revealed to him by the Spirit. Read the rest of this entry »

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