by: FCC Staff
Living in a society filled with such material wealth and prosperity we can make these things the focus of our lives. We want more, bigger, better, faster. We want a car like we see on TV, the relationships we see modeled on social media, a better-looking body, and the quickest way to any of those things, well… isn’t that just the American Dream?
We can want all these things, and set our goals to achieve them, and even find a verse from the bible to help motivate us as we pursue the desires of our hearts. One of the most popular “motivational” scriptures people like to use is Philippians 4:13 “I can do all things through him who strengthens me.” We’ll slap it on a sticker, write it on a note to stick to our mirror, leave it on the fridge, wear it on some workout clothes… wherever we need that little extra kick to do the things we need to in order to get what we want.
What’s the harm in using this scripture to motivate yourself to do what needs doing in order to get the things you desire? Well let’s look at the context of that scripture and see if we can get a better idea what it is all about:
“I rejoiced in the Lord greatly that now at length you have revived your concern for me. You were indeed concerned for me, but you had no opportunity. Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:10-13
How ironic is it that a verse of scripture we can often hold up to try and motivate us to achieve all we desire, is REALLY trying to teach us how to be content in any circumstance? We are doing an injustice to the teaching, experience and wisdom that God is trying to impart on us. When we simply pluck a verse out of context, to justify doing what we want, we are robbing ourselves and others of the full counsel of scripture.
Jesus taught us, “But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” (Matthew 6:33) He taught us to ask for our daily bread. (Matthew 6:11) and warned us all too often how the desires of our heart, when they aren’t focused on God, can lead us astray.
So today, let’s be content with a little and righteousness, as our proverb for today teaches us. Because really, when we have Christ and our hearts are set on him, we have more than we’ll ever need.
Prayer For Today
Father thank you for all your blessings in my life. I’m sorry that I sometimes lose focus and let the desires and worries of this life steal my focus away from you. Jesus, teach me to be content, just as you were, to daily do the will of the Father. By your Holy Spirit, give me the wisdom to apply your word to my life so it may transform me. I ask these things all in the blessed name of Jesus. Amen