COLUMN: Paul learned the secret of being content

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By George Smith

Many people seem to find no satisfaction in life and thus walk around in discontent lacking fulfillment.

Paul stands in stark contrast to these when he gives his testimony in Philippians 4:11-19.

Paul writes from terrible conditions being in prison, yet he said he was content even in this situation.

He said, contentment is learned. The situations of life are a school house to learn contentment, but some never learn and thus their lives are unfulfilled, unsatisfied and


Paul gives four insights on how to learn contentment.

First, he says don't compare yourself with others. If you do, you will either be prideful or jealous and these both lead to discontentment.

There are several myths circulating: We must have what others have to be happy. We must be liked by everyone to be happy. And having more will make you happy. These are misconceptions.

Everything in life changes so Paul says learn to adapt to change. Change will come whether we like it or not.

Contentment is not based on your situation in life, but from a relationship with Jesus Christ.

Paul learned contentment independent of his circumstances. All of us have had bad things happen to us. It is our choice whether these make us bitter or better.

Our strength like that of Paul's is made stronger through our relationship with Christ. We must learn to draw upon his power.

Finally, trust God. Paul put Christ at the center of his life. His fulfillment in life was found in Christ. No wonder he was contented in every situation.