Philippians 4:11 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Philippians 4:11, NIV: I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances.

Philippians 4:11, ESV: Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content.

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

Philippians 4:11, NASB: Not that I speak from need, for I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am.

Philippians 4:11, NLT: Not that I was ever in need, for I have learned how to be content with whatever I have.

Philippians 4:11, CSB: I don't say this out of need, for I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I find myself.

What does Philippians 4:11 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Paul continues his expression of thanks to the Philippian believers with a reminder that he was not saying these words because he needed more from them. He wanted to show that he was humble, and content. Paul could exist with or without earthly needs being met beyond basic essentials (Philippians 4:12).

In addition to living humbly, Paul focuses on the concept of contentment, regardless of his circumstances. Contentment is not automatic, nor is it a natural attitude. Rather, it is a learned skill. Paul's variety of ministry experiences had offered him times of plenty, as well as times of need. This allowed Paul to learn how to find joy, regardless of his circumstances.

Writing from Roman imprisonment, he was at a time of great need. Even so, Paul expresses joy and contentment. It's important to recall that his imprisonment was not brief. He had been continually held for two years in Rome, in addition to multiple years in Palestine. Contentment was essential for Paul to find any joy in his circumstances.