Setting the Mind

Colossians 3:2 “Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth.”

Observation: Paul’s writing to the church at Colossae was to counter their tendency to blend the teachings of Christ with Jewish legalism, Greek philosophy, and Oriental mysticism. The pure teachings of Christ were being lost in a maelstrom of other beliefs and philosophies. In the verse emphasized today, Paul was straightforwardly reminding the people that they had some serious choices to make. He fairly shouted, “Wait a minute! Stop! Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth!”

Application: What could the command to “set” my mind imply, other than that it is a choice of my will to do so? Setting the mind is an act I must make consciously; I must fight against the tendency to “go along” with the priorities of the world around me or to be overwhelmed by the latest bad news.

Paul is saying, “Take control of your mind! Be assertive about deciding in advance what your focus will be on today! The entertainments of the world, the vain philosophies of men, even alarming headline news of the day can so easily overwhelm me. I effortlessly slip into a passive posture of simply reading what comes in today’s mail or watching whatever programming is offered tonight or spending one more evening with the same old group of familiar friends who do nothing to draw me into a closer relationship with our Creator God.

“No!” Paul shouts. “Set your mind on things above. Decide ahead of time how you’ll spend your time and money.” In other words, think about how the coming hour or day or week, could impact eternity! If my mind isn’t being renewed each day, then I’m living on old information about whose I really am; I am trying to function according to false knowledge.

Prayer: Lord God, stir me to shake off the patterns and complacency of the world. Cause me, Lord, to aggressively, assertively, take control of my mind. I ask You, dear Lord, to show me Your priorities for my life today.


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