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Change the Conversation // Episode 2 // The Secret of Being Content

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There are two Greek words sometimes translated content in the New Testament, and Paul uses both words in Philippians when he’s writing to the church in Philippi from a jail cell:


Philippians 4:11-13 (NIV)

11I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content [sufficient within] whatever the circumstances. 12I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content [fully satisfied; literally, in relation to food—a quenched appetite] in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. 13I can do all this through him who gives me strength.‬‬


So Paul has a contentment (sufficiency within) that is not contingent upon circumstances. He says he’s learned the secret of being content (fully satisfied) whether he’s well fed or hungry.


How?


Verse 13—Jesus Christ.


To look at this principle practically, the Lord pointed me to a single story in the New Testament—the woman at the well. In this story, Jesus and His disciples were passing through Samaria on their way to Galilee. While they were on the outskirts of one of the towns in Samaria, the disciples left Jesus to go buy some food, and Jesus sat down by Jacob’s well just as a Samaritan woman was coming to draw water:


John 4:7-14 (ESV)

7A woman from Samaria came to draw water. Jesus said to her, “Give me a drink.” 8(For his disciples had gone away into the city to buy food.) 9The Samaritan woman said to him, “How is it that you, a Jew, ask for a drink from me, a woman of Samaria?” (For Jews have no dealings with Samaritans.) 10Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is that is saying to you, ‘Give me a drink,’ you would have asked him, and he would have given you living water.” 11The woman said to him, “Sir, you have nothing to draw water with, and the well is deep. Where do you get that living water? 12Are you greater than our father Jacob? He gave us the well and drank from it himself, as did his sons and his livestock.” 13Jesus said to her, “Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, 14but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”


So remember that sufficiency within that Paul talked about? This is the same thing Jesus is talking about! It’s just like in John 6:35 when Jesus says, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.” And then again in John 7:37-38 when He says, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.’ It’s a sufficiency within, a contentment, that we can only find through relationship with Jesus because the Holy Spirit lives within us!


Let's see what happens next:


John 4:15-18 (ESV)

15The woman said to him, “Sir, give me this water, so that I will not be thirsty or have to come here to draw water.” 16Jesus said to her, “Go, call your husband, and come here.” 17The woman answered him, “I have no husband.” Jesus said to her, “You are r