“Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you. I rejoiced in the Lord greatly that now at length you have revived your concern for me. You were indeed concerned for me, but you had no opportunity. Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me. Yet it was kind of you to share my trouble.” (Philippians 4:8-14)

Are you known as being a content person? You can learn to be. This encouragement was written while Paul was in prison.

Believers are in a war for their minds, the world system continually bombarding them. The world system seeks to seduce our mind into an anti-God way of thinking.

The secular world rarely asks if a thing is true, which we are instructed to do. Instead, they asks, “Does it work?” or “How will it make me feel?” Based on their answer to these two questions the secular mind determines what for them is true. Truth arrived in this way is not true truth.

The Bible leaves no doubt that people’s lives are the product of their thoughts. Proverbs 23:7 declares, “For as he thinks within himself, so he is.”

“Sow a thought, reap an action. Sow an action, reap a habit. Sow a habit, reap a character. Sow a character reap a destiny!”

Twice in this passage, Paul says that he has “learned” to be content. You can, too. Contentment does not come naturally to the sinful human heart. We need God’s grace to strengthen us and to change our hearts. But we also have the responsibility to learn contentment. It requires effort. We must “keep seeking the things above”  (a present imperative command), meaning you have to do it if you desire the result, contentment. To do this we must lean on the Holy Spirit to enable us to keep setting a guard at the door of our heart.

Obedience to two commands is essential to have contentment. They are both  present imperatives meaning to “keep seeking the things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God, and keep setting on the things above, not on the things that are on earth.” This is how you learn contentment.

Christ-like character is shaped by thinking Christ-honoring thoughts. About what do think most often? Even more important is how you think about them.

Meditate on what is positive and praiseworthy. Train your mind. Remember that is what the secular world is trying to do. Without being sensitive to it, that it is happening all around us.

Now the formula for contentment summarized: “And do not be conformed (present imperative with a negative) to this world, but be (continually) transformed (present imperative) by the renewing of your mind.” (Romans 12: 2)