Today’s Scrip-Bit 19 August 2016 Philippians 4:11.

Philippians 4:11.    Not that I speak in respect of want (in regard of need): for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.

Aye mih people, another bright, sunshiny day is in the offing… And it’s Friday to boot! So you can imagine the raucous shouts worldwide of ‘TGIF! Thank God it’s Friday! Hurrah for the weekend! Get yourselves together to party! No more slaving for two, whole big days! Mama yo! We going to mash up the place! Thank God for Fridays and the weekends yes!’ 

Ah friends, you can’t help but voice those sentiments after facing the endless traffic jams, both morning and evening, that result from everybody commuting to work these days and working in the li’l fishbowls that so many of us toil in, five days a week. 

But we have a better perspective on the usage of the weekend. It’s called our Friday Chant. So let’s chant it and raise the stakes to a higher level nuh. As one now: ‘Oh Lord, thanks for getting me safely through another week of work! It hasn’t been easy, but with your generous help, I made it through. 

Now, please help me to get sufficient fun, fellowship, rest and relaxation in these two short days off, so that I can be renewed and refreshed in soul, body and mind, to go back out and do it all over again next week, furthering your glorious kingdom with each step I take. I pray this in Jesus name. Amen.’ 

Yes my fellow believers in Jesus Christ, that is a much better way to spend the weekend. It provides some semblance of balance and circumspection, along with some godly intentions, not merely a free for all of worldly lusts and pleasures. 

Now here is an interesting quote from my ‘P.S. I LOVE YOU’ Poster. It says, quite straightforwardly; ‘Almost all of our unhappiness is the result of comparing ourselves to others.’ 

And there is indeed a lot of truth in that statement friends! Comparing ourselves to others is one of the big problems in our current society. Keeping up with the Joneses causes more confusion, debt and jealousy than we can ever imagine. 

The world’s wrong definition of who and what we are, which depends on our material possessions, social standing and level of power, drives too many of us to levels of debt, work, lies and pretensions that we cannot safely manage. 

I thank the Lord everyday, that though I may desire some of the things and standards of living that others have, I’m not envious, neither do I try my level best to become like them. And the sad part is that oftimes we don’t know what others have sacrificed to get what they have and where they are. 

And if we knew, we wouldn’t be so quick to want to be like them, because many have sold their souls to Beelzebub for their power, social standing and material possessions. So friends, let me strongly dissuade us this Friday morning from comparing ourselves to others, because it’s just a fool’s game. 

The Lord in His absolute wisdom made us each different for a purpose. If He wanted us to be all the same, He would have done so. And trying desperately to be like others only drives a negative wedge in our lives. So please stop it! End of sermon. (smile) 

That brings us to our rather appropriate Bit. ‘Not that I speak in respect of want (in regard of need): for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.’ 

Oh my brethren, learning that, takes so much stress and strain off of our frail human shoulders, especially in this show-off society of ours. 

Hear the scholars take on our Bit nuh. ‘4:11. Not that I speak in respect (because) of want: Paul’s ability to be content despite the circumstances assures the readers that his joy of verse 10 is not solely over his “need” being met at their expense. He implies that he could have done without their financial aid. For justifies this implication. 

I have learned …to be content: The Greek here suggests that contentment is a lesson learned neither in a classroom nor overnight, but through many practical experiences in life.’ 

And indeed so it is my people! Contentment is a learned way of life, through many trials and tribulations. Bruh Paul was here acknowledging the financial aid he’d received from the members of the Philippian church. 

‘But I rejoiced in the Lord greatly, that now at the last your care of (concern for) me hath flourished (revived) again; wherein ye were also careful (though you surely did care), ye lacked opportunity.’ (Phil.4:10) They were concerned about him, but lacked the opportunity to minister to him. 

That leads Bruh Paul to continue after our Bit. ‘I both know how to be abased (live humbly), and I know how to abound (live in prosperity): everywhere and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need.’ (Phil.4:12) 

And we’ll end with some interesting explanations from the scholars. ‘4:12. By listing some specific examples, this verse elaborates upon the very general and broad “in whatsoever state I am” of verse 11. Be abased means literally to discipline oneself, that is, to tighten the belt in lean times. 

To abound means to live in prosperity. Everywhere and in all things I am instructed (or, “in all circumstances I have learned the secret of how”) to be full, that is, “well fed.” To abound means to have plenty. To suffer need means to go without. 

Paul has acquired the skill required for successful living with little and with much, the latter being harder. “For one man who can stand prosperity, there are a hundred that will stand adversity.” (Thomas Carlyle).’ 

Yeh friends, for many of us, living in prosperity is indeed harder than living in adversity. When we have plenty, we often don’t know what to do with it. However, when we only have a little, we just have to make do. 

Now please don’t get the idea that we’re supposed to live miserly or stringently, because Christ said He came that we might have life, and have it more abundantly, but by the same token, we also need to know how to live when we don’t have abundance, and not be greedy or envious of those who have. 

So let’s go out there today and begin learning the life lessons we need to live as we ought nuh. (smile) Much LOVE!

…contentment can only be had through the peace of Jesus…

 

  

 

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