Colossians 3:2 Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.
This is something I need to be reminded of often. I live in a highly materialistic culture. It is easy to get caught up in the materialism that surrounds me. I am frequently caught up in status, salary, better things, clothes, etc. There are worldly mindsets to deal with like not granting forgiveness, competing, gossip, relativism, selfishness, vindictiveness, etc. All of these things become distractions to who I am and who I am to become as a new creation in Christ.
This verse and its context remind me of where my thoughts should be. “This world is not our home.” It is a phrase that is repeated among circles I am involved in on a regular basis. I want to be careful and not over-use that phrase and use it just because I do not want to face a difficult task. However, the phrase is true. This world is not home to those of us who follow Jesus. We await the time until He comes back to make everything new. Until then, we are to be light to those who do not yet know Him. As we live that life, we are to keep the mindset that we are to keep our minds and hearts on things above.
How do we set our minds on things above? Paul goes on to explain some things we should do to work toward looking above. First of all, he lists several things of the flesh and earthly nature that we are to put to death. These are (vs. 5): “…sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed…” There are two things of interest about this list. One, Paul tells us that these are the reason for the wrath of God to come. Second, we used to walk in these ways. That would mean that we have changed. Paul also gets more detailed about things we would rid ourselves of by listing anger, rage, malice, slander, fifthly language and lying. All of these are parts of our old nature that we should continually be working on and purging from our lifestyle.
The second part of what we should do to set our minds on things above is focusing on the positives we need to add to our lifestyle. Paul lists these things (vs. 12-15): Compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, patience, forgiveness, love, peace and thankfulness. As we de-robe ourselves of the earthly nature, we are clothing ourselves with these positive attributes.
I am to continually work on myself, getting rid of the old and putting on the new. This is the work that allows me to set my mind and heart on things above and recognize that this world is not my home.
I close with this summary statement Paul made at the end of this section of passage: (vs. 17) “And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.”
1. When you hear the statement, “Set your minds on things above” what comes to mind for you?
2. What are the negative attributes that you still struggle with?
3. What are the positive attributes that you are successful living out in your life now?
4. What are the attributes you want to work on?
5. If you have uttered the statement (or something similar, or have even felt this way), “This world is not my/our home”, what was/is the situation or context?
6. This week, ask God to reveal to you where you do have your mind on things above. Also have Him reveal to you where you have your mind on earthly things.
7. Spend time in prayer asking God to help you to become more “above” minded.
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