This might just be a rant, but I will get it out anyway. Feedback is always welcome.
So often, from some preachers, from lay people, a verse of Scripture is quoted. Many times from athletes also. Particularly after an athlete has had a great game, such as an NFL running back picking up a couple TDs in a game, along with over 200 yards total offence. Some have Philippians 4:13 sewed on a headband, while others have a tattoo or eye shadow signifying this verse, and they boldly declare they are Christ followers. Their declaration of being Christ followers, I love. But I disagree with the use of Philippians 4:13 as being the reason for their victory.
There are probably Christ followers on the opposing team also. Those players follow the same Christ, work just as hard, perhaps harder, but it is possible the entire team is not as talented, or they had an off day, or no breaks.
Sermons have been preached on this, usually heard on TV. Many people claim this in everyday life, for situations they choose to enter.
The problem I have with this, is that I do not believe one verse can always be taken as a stand alone verse, and build your life and actions on it.
When looking at this verse, it says: 13 I can do all this through him who gives me strength.
So, what does Paul mean when he says “all this”? We need to look back to the previous verse: 12 I 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 in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.
12 I 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 in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. 13 I can do all this through him who gives me strength.)
Apparently, Paul learned what it was to be content in every situation he was in. It didn’t say he chose difficult experiences, next to impossible situations, or personal desires, expecting God to look favourably upon him carrying him through all things.
I believe what may be happening, since some of the translations of Scripture do not really specify looking at the context, many people like the look of this one verse, grabbing and claiming it.
Preachers and Teachers should be especially careful as they are instructing, guiding others, especially new, or pre Christ followers, that we cannot choose one verse in a passage, and use it in all situations by itself.
Below are a number of translations of Philippians 4:13. Some are more clear than others for the real meaning of this verse / passage.
I realize this is long, maybe no one has even read this, but I should be finished my rant.
Scripture needs to be used properly, spoken and taught clearly. Otherwise we have confused Christ followers, some who think they are Christ followers but are not, or some driven away because their beliefs are not coming to fruition.
I believe the end of time as we know it is near, and Christ is returning soon. We need to be certain the Truth is understood properly.
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Christ is the one who gives me the strength I need to do whatever I must do.
Philippians 4:13 Easy to Read Version
I am able to do all things through him who strengthens me.
Philippians 4:13 Christian Standard Bible
I can do all things in him that strengtheneth me.
Philippians 4:13 American Standard Version
Christ gives me the strength to face anything.
Philippians 4:13 Contemporary English Version
I can do all things through Christ who strengtheneth me.
Philippians 4:13 21st Century King James Version
I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.
Philippians 4:13 Authorized KJV
I am able to do all things through the help of Christ, which strengtheneth me.
Philippians 4:13 1599 Geneva Bible
I can do everything through Christ who strengthens me.
Philippians 4:13 God’s Word Translation
I have the strength to face all conditions by the power that Christ gives me.
Philippians 4:13 Good News Translation
I can do all things through him who strengthens me.
Philippians 4:13 International Standard Version
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for I can do everything God asks me to with the help of Christ who gives me the strength and power.
Philippians 4:13. Living Bible
I can do all this through him who gives me strength.
Philippians 4:13 New International Version
I can do all this by the power of Christ. He gives me strength.
Philippians 4:13 New International Reader’s Version
I can endure all these things through the power of the one who gives me strength.
Philippians 4:13 Common English Bible
I can do all things [which He has called me to do] through Him who strengthens and empowers me [to fulfill His purpose—I am self-sufficient in Christ’s sufficiency; I am ready for anything and equal to anything through Him who infuses me with inner strength and confident peace.]
Philippians 4:13 Amplified Bible