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Philippians 4:12

"I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything. I have learned the secret of living in every situation, whether it is with a full stomach or empty, with plenty or little."

Three dumplings in a wooden bowl next to chopsticks.

Our verse of the day, Philippians 4:12, comes right before one of the most famous Bible verses in all of Scripture. Verse 13 reads, "For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength." This is an encouraging verse. However, I think many Christians often use it incorrectly. They use it as a motivational slogan or an offering of support. But they forget to look at the context in which the verse resides.

Right before this verse is Philippians 4:12. In this passage, Paul is encouraging us to be content in whatever situation we are in life. In other words, Christ will give us strength not necessarily to accomplish impressive feats, but rather to find peace in hard times and to be grateful in good times.

To help us discover Paul's secret, let's engage in a food challenge. Choose a treat that you really enjoy. For me, I like KitKat bars, so I'll use that, but use whatever you like for this exercise. Sometime today when you have an opportunity, take a small bite of your treat. Eat it slowly and thoughtfully, enjoying the texture and the flavor. Once you have swallowed the bite, put the rest of your treat away. You should eat no more of that today.

The idea here is that you will only allow yourself a limited indulgence of your favorite treat. You will enjoy it, but you will also need to practice being content with that small portion. This exercise symbolizes the power of having peace in Christ. When you have a deep relationship with Jesus, like Paul had, you won't be striving for more of something else and you won't be envious of others who have more than you do. That's the type of secret we all need to discover.

(New Living Translation; photo credit: Charles Deluvio via Unsplash)

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