Financial Freedom Principle #16: Contentment is the key

One of the most popular verses in the Bible is Philippians 4:13, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” People use this verse in various situations they encounter.

  • “I am having a bad day but I can endure it because I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”
  • “I have a crummy job and a mean boss but I can keep working here because I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”
  • “I have just received some bad news but I can make it because I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”

How many people stop to consider the context of this popular verse? The context is Philippians 4:10-13; notice the words. “But I rejoiced in the Lord greatly that now at last your care for me has flourished again; though you surely did care, but you lacked opportunity. Not that I speak in regard to need, for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content: I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound. Everywhere and in all things I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”

We see here Paul learned contentment. Contentment is being satisfied with what we have. Contentment is something that he learned in the process of spiritual growth as he walked with the Lord. Paul said he was content whether he had a little or a lot; whether he was brought low or held in high esteem, hungry or full of food. Consider this Proverb: “Better is a little with the fear of the Lord, than great treasure with trouble. Better is a dinner of herbs where love is, than a fatted calf with hatred.” Proverbs 15:16-17

Notice some of the other contentment verses in the Bible.

“Two things I request of You (Deprive me not before I die): Remove falsehood and lies far from me; give me neither poverty nor riches—“Feed me with the food allotted to me; lest I be full and deny You, and say, “Who is the Lord?” or lest I be poor and steal, and profane the name of my God.” Proverbs 30:7-9

“Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for Him; do not fret because of him who prospers in his way, because of the man who brings wicked schemes to pass. A little that a righteous man has Is better than the riches of many wicked.” Psalm 37:7, 16

“Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have. For He Himself has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” So we may boldly say: “The Lord is my helper; I will not fear. What can man do to me?” Hebrews 13:5-6

“Now godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. And having food and clothing, with these we shall be content.” 1 Timothy 6:6-8

“Likewise, the soldiers asked him, saying, “And what shall we do?” So he said to them, “Do not intimidate anyone or accuse falsely, and be content with your wages.” Luke 3:14

“Whom have I in heaven but You? And there is none upon earth that I desire besides You.” Psalm 73:25

“Do not be afraid when one becomes rich, when the glory of his house is increased; for when he dies he shall carry nothing away; his glory shall not descend after him. Though while he lives he blesses himself (For men will praise you when you do well for yourself), He shall go to the generation of his fathers; they shall never see light.” Psalm 49:16-19

“Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.” Matthew 6:31-34

“He who loves silver will not be satisfied with silver; Nor he who loves abundance, with increase. This also is vanity.” Ecclesiastes 5:10

By reading these and other verses on contentment, we can see how contentment is the key fits into the whole picture of financial freedom. Financial freedom is not having a bunch of stuff or making a lot of money. It is being content with what God has entrusted to us at this moment in life. He may choose to entrust us with less or more. However, in whatever He chooses, we are content.