Merriam Webster says content is defined as:
1 - desiring nor more than one has
2 - ready to accept or acquiesce
Merriam Webster defines satisfy as:
1 - to gratify the need, desire, or expectation of
2 - to fulfill
3 - to discharge an obligation (such as a creditor)
4 - to conform to the requirements of a standard or rule
After reading the above definitions of the two root words, I decided I better go back to the original Greek and Hebrew in the Word of God because it was obvious to me the two words clearly had different meanings in today's language. But what did Paul mean when he stated:
Philippians 4:11 Not that I speak according to need, for I have learned to be content in whatever state I am.
Philippians 4:12 I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound. In everything and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need.
What does content mean in the above scripture? Well, it is a compound of two different words in the Greek and ultimately means to be self-complacent, content or desiring no more than one has. I started wondering why Paul would say that. I mean, aren't we taught by society and our own human nature of greed and discontentment that we are to strive for more? We are nothing without the best car, best house, best job, best furniture, the best clothes, etc. I have no doubt the list could go on and on.
The world pushes and pushes us to have more, do more, be more. But yet, we are told to be in the world not of the world so the desires and wants of the world should not be a part of us. As our old selves become less and less a part of us, we become more and more like Christ, which is what we are striving for each and every day.
1 Timothy 6:6 - But godliness with contentment is great gain.
We are made in the image of God. We are given a new heart and become new creations when we accept Christ as our Lord and Savior. Our image should reflect the image of the Father. Becoming content with our situations - all situations - provides us with more than we could have otherwise and begins to show our reflections to the world.
1 Timothy 6:7 - For we brought nothing into the world, and it is clear that we can carry nothing out.
1 Timothy 6:8 - But having food and clothing, we will be content.
"For" = because. We were born with nothing. We will die with nothing. So...because we have food and clothing we will be content. That is my little take on the scriptures above. We must be content with what we have. Any other attitude could spur rebellion to God's will for our lives. We will become dissatisfied and discontent with what God has already provided so we will seek our own path to give us the things we believe we deserve or that we should have. We take our eyes off Christ and we stop seeking FIRST the Kingdom of God and His righteousness when we seek something other than His face, His will, His righteousness.
Pro 30:8 remove far from me vanity and a lying word; give me neither poverty or riches; tear for me my portion of bread,
Pro 30:9 lest I be full and deceive, and say, Who is Jehovah? Or lest I be poor, and steal, and violate the name of my God.
There is one phrase in the Proverbs scriptures above that jumped out at me...even as many times a I have read through Proverbs in my life.
"tear for me my portion of bread"
We each have a portion that belongs only to us. We are to only desire our portion. Why? So we don't become full with more than is our portion and ask who is God? Distractions can cause us to forget the provisions and blessings our Father as provided us all because He loves us.
Heb 13:5 Let your way of life be without the love of money, and be content with such things as you have, for He has said, "Not at all will I leave you, not at all will I forsake you, never!"
We are to be content with what we have. We should not let our lives revolve around the love of money...as so many do. "for He has said..." FOR= because He is always with us! We are to always be content with what we have because what we have is a King for a constant companion!
Heb 13:6 so that we may boldly say, "The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do to me."
He is with us so we can boldly say He is our Helper! What does boldly mean? A simple definition is "with confidence and without fear." We may boldly, confidently, and without fear say Our God is with us and we will not be concerned with what men will do. We have nothing to be concerned about because the Creator of the Universe is our helper and He is always with us.
Our contentment can be found in Him and the fact that He never leaves us. How could we desire anything anymore than a constant companion that created us? He calls us friend. He knows everything our hearts desire. How could we not be content with that?