“Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth.” (Col. 3:2)
Of all the things we find hard to do as human beings, this might just be the hardest. Our entire culture is built around things on the earth. Christmas, birthdays, special occasions and the weekly shopping trip are all geared towards things on the earth. Billions of dollars are spent to make us think about things on the earth.
Obviously, this statement of Paul is not something we can just snap our fingers and bring to pass. The key to being able to do this is found in the next two verses. Paul says that our mind should be changed because our old person and its mind is dead. Now, in the new life, we are hidden in Christ.
Being a new person is being set free from the old. The old allowed our earthly parts to be involved in earthly things. There’s a list in verses 5 and 8. The Christian has undergone a renewal. This renewal allows the Christian to think about heavenly things rather than earthly things. But, it’s not automatic. Can’t put the mind on cruise control and let it do its own thing. The key word in our verse is “set.”
Set implies that we have a choice. There are earthly things and there are heavenly things and we can choose. Most of our pre-Christian life was spent on setting our minds on earthly things. What we must guard against is after we become a Christian keeping the old mindset. Earthly things must lose their allure. They can no longer be the most important things in our life. Now, as Christians, we must become God and Christ-centered.
Seek and you will find was not given in the sense of earthly treasures. Ask and you will receive was not a formula for a new car or house. When God gives full measure, pressed down, and overflowing it isn’t earthly things. If that were so, then verse 2 of Colossians 3 would not have been written. If God wanted us to have all the things of earth he would not have instructed us to set our minds on heaven.
Task for Today: Practice mind setting. When you watch TV ads or see them in your favorite magazine remember what your life is about. Switch your thinking to the heavenly blessings. It has to become a habit but it will.