What does Philippians 4:11 mean?
ESV: Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content.
NIV: I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances.
NASB: Not that I speak from need, for I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am.
CSB: I don't say this out of need, for I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I find myself.
NLT: Not that I was ever in need, for I have learned how to be content with whatever I have.
KJV: Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.
NKJV: Not that I speak in regard to need, for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content:
Verse Commentary:
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.
Verse Context:
Philippians 4:10–20 describes how Christians can overcome worry and worldly desires, regardless of their circumstances. By making a purposeful decision to be content, a believer can trust God to provide our true needs, and not be consumed with materialism or anxiety. Paul has learned this skill through his many trials and ministry experiences. Paul also thanks the Philippians for their generosity, and expresses his confidence that God will bless them for it.
Chapter Summary:
Paul specifically asks two Christian women, Euodia and Syntyche, to settle their personal dispute. Other Christians are encouraged to act as reasonable, Christ-filled people. Paul notes that his experiences have taught him to be content with whatever material blessings he has. This reliance on the power of Christ not only allows believers to be content, it produces peace in our relationships to other Christians. This also requires a deliberate choice to set our attention on positive things. Paul extends sincere thanks to the Philippians for their generous support.
Chapter Context:
After putting suffering and hardship into perspective in the previous three chapters, Paul now gives specific thanks to the Philippians for their support and generosity. Prior passages in this letter have explained concepts like humility and hope, as well as a focus on Christ. Positive attitudes, and beneficial thinking, are especially important. In this concluding section, Paul calls on the Philippians to act with ''reasonableness,'' especially as they handle disagreements within the church. Paul is confident that God will bless these faithful Christians for their generous support.
Book Summary:
Philippians is Paul's discussion of living the Christian life. In this letter to the church of Philippi, Paul highlights themes such as joy and glory. He also puts great emphasis on how a Christian's thinking—their attitude—affects the way they live out their faith. Paul is very thankful for the support of the Philippian church, but is also concerned about the influence of various false teachers. This letter is less theological than most of his other writings, and more practical.
Accessed 5/20/2024 9:22:48 PM
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