So What? (5 of 20) by Roger Thomas
This content is part of a series.So What? (5 of 20)
Series: Forever Living in a Whatever World
This whole passage, in some ways the entire book of Philippians, turns on the little question at the beginning of vs. 18. In the original language, the question contains only two words. Our English translation expands the question a bit. The sense is the same. You wouldn't have to use four English words. Two would do. Paul answers all the issue in this powerful little book with two little words. All the questions, all the doubts, all the problems come down to--so what? What does it matter?
So what? Those two little words also contain Paul's secret of contentment. That's the grand theme of this book. That phrase "the secret of contentment" doesn't come until the last chapter. But in a sense everything in the book leads up to it. Every verse in every chapter adds another piece to one big puzzle that finally comes together at the end. 4:12 presents the big picture, "I have learned the secret of being contentment in any and every situation." Paul claims to know the secret. And it's not what most people think.
A lot of folk, then and now, look for contentment in four places. The first is possessions. When their ship comes in they will finally live on "easy street." A full bank account means a full life. Others think power will do it. If I could just call the shots, be more in charge of my own life, get my way more--then I could be satisfied. Other look for it in popularity. Young people especially fall prey to this illusion. The right crowd, right clothes, cool friends--if I just had that I would have the world by the tail. Adults aren't immune to that lie. The fourth pea in the pod is pleasure. Many travel the path of drink, drugs, sex--and a host of other dead end roads--because they think that enough pleasure will numb the inner pain and satisfy the soul. It never does! Possessions, power, popularity, or pleasure is not the secret ...
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