Session 4: Contentment

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  • Study

    Begin this session by reading Scripture and answering questions to reflect on the selected Bible verses.

    Why does Paul have a positive attitude, even though he is imprisoned?

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    How does Paul see other people declaring the name of Christ for selfish gain as a good thing?

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    What attitude does Paul express in this passage? Does it align with the situation he is facing?

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    Why is Paul indifferent about whether he lives or dies?

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    How does Paul define humility? How is this different than our concept of the term?

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    Why does Paul point to Christ in his discussion of humility?

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    Who is Epaphroditus? What happened to him?

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    Why does Paul tell the people to welcome Epaphroditus with great joy?

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    What is Paul’s secret of contentment? How does knowing the context of 4:13 help us properly understand this often-quoted verse?

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  • Learn

    The book of Philippians was a letter written by Paul while he was imprisoned and was certain his death was quickly approaching. This letter was meant to update his friends on his situation, and to thank them for their
    help and faithful support.

    Paul displayed a positive attitude throughout the book, not exhibiting fear or worry that may be expected.
    Even through his imprisonment, Paul was filled with joy. Paul discovered a source of peace and joy that was more powerful than his immediate situation. He found his stability, strength, and contentment in the presence of Christ in his life. Through this, we now understand Paul’s declaration in Philippians 4:13.

    I can do all this through Him who gives me strength.
    Philippians 4:13 NIV

    Scripture Calls Us to Humility

    • Humility is not bringing ourselves low, but lifting others higher than ourselves.
    • Paul tells us to look out for other’s needs and interests and remember the power of humility in relationships.
    • Christ’s life was the ultimate example of humility, as he put our need for salvation ahead of His own.
  • Grow

    How would you respond if you were in Paul’s situation and were facing death in prison? Does his joy motivate you, perplex you, or frustrate you?

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    Humility means putting someone else’s interests ahead of yours. Knowing that, what does humility look like in your life? What would happen if people really lived their lives following this principle?

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    If you had to rate the level of your contentment in life from 1-10 (1 being not at all content and 10 being entirely content), what number would you give yourself? What discourages contentment in your life? How can contentment emerge from your walk with God?

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