Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Word Study Wednesday - Content

Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. ~~Philippians 4:11 ESV

According to, content means “satisfied with what one is or has; not wanting more or anything else.”

In the Greek the word content is autark─ôs, which means self-sufficient. This was a favorite word of the Stoics. The who?

In the book of Acts, we’re introduced to the different Greek philosophers Paul met in Athens.

Some of the Epicurean and Stoic philosophers also conversed with him. And some said, What does this babbler wish to say? Others said, He seems to be a preacher of foreign divinities because he was preaching Jesus and the resurrection. ~~ Acts 17:18 ESV

The Epicureans were agnostics. Their creed was “Eat, drink and be merry.” Whatever happens does so by chance. They did not believe God existed or if there were gods that they just didn’t concern themselves with the world. The Stoics were pantheists. They believed God was in all and everything was controlled by fate. Their most desirable trait was to achieve apathy (without emotions or feelings). Living life stoically. [1]

“But Paul’s self-sufficiency was not of the Stoic kind. It was Christ-sufficiency. Paul’s independence was not Stoic independence, but dependence upon Christ. He found his sufficiency in Christ. He was independent of circumstances because he was dependent upon Christ.”[2]

In my life, I’ve had undesirable circumstances. I confess, it’s hard to be content in trials. Therefore as I meditate on being content, I do so because I’m dependent on Christ.

Engrafted by His Grace--

[1] Wood, George O.: Acts, A Study Guide, Global University, Springfield, Missouri, 2004, p. 273

[2] Wuest, Kenneth S.: Wuest's Word Studies from the Greek New Testament : For the English Reader. Grand Rapids : Eerdmans, 1997, c1984, S. Php 4:11

6 gracious comments:

Michelle V said...

Great post!


Starla said...

Great post!!!

MrsProverbs31 said...

Right on. One of the life principles taught by some speakers is that we must love where we're at and pursue of higher levels. I'm still trying to absorb that.

Thanks for sharing.

Alene said...

Man is it ever hard to be content in trials. I needed to read this. I miss you girl! love ya

annie's eyes said...

These two posts on contentment I have printed out. I am using Contentment as my theme for 2009, and already I have failed, but haven't quit, so by definition, I haven't failed yet. Contentment is definitely in Christ not circumstances. I hope to get there, and know you do too. Let's pray for each other toward that end. Love, Annette

lisasmith said...

Oh yes!! I believe contentment speaks volumes in one's life about the grace of God.
Blessings to you, Shonda!