How we engage our minds affects our level of contentment. When we dwell on the pain and trials of this world, our hearts are filled with hopelessness, worry, and fear. It takes intentionality to focus a mind on things of goodness, peace, and grace. Without direction, our thoughts float their own ways, lingering on past images seen, words heard, or memories. A mind needs to be trained. And training is discipline and hard work.
With each passing year, I lose a bit of “can-do” spunk. The battle seems too large and never finished. Remember how Paul learned contentment? Here’s a bit of encouragement on how we can learn this discipline:
“Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God.” Colossians 3:1-3
Our being “raised with Christ” is our motivation for setting our hearts and minds on heavenly things. This mind transformation is possible because we are hidden with Christ.
“Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable– if anything is excellent or praiseworthy– think about such things.” Philippians 4:8
Paul gives us an extensive list to start our minds down the road toward contentment. Don’t know where to begin to focus your thoughts? Make a list of all that is true, all that is noble, etc. We have a lot of freedom within this list. So many options for our grasping thoughts.
“Then he continued, ‘Do not be afraid, Daniel. Since the first day that you set your mind to gain understanding and to humble yourself before your God, your words were heard, and I have come in response to them.’” Daniel 10:12
The words of the heavenly figure addressing Daniel encourage us toward the reward of setting our minds on the things of the Lord. Daniel’s efforts in training his mind were rewarded with intimacy in prayer and direct help from above. We do not struggle in vain to focus our minds on Christ. When we learn this discipline of the mind, we will gain greater contentment.