Set your mind on things above
Johnson B Thomas
'Set your mind on things above, not on earthly things' Colossians 3:2
A popular saying goes like this:
'Beware of your thoughts, they form your words. Beware of your words, they form your actions. Beware of your actions, they form your habits. Beware of your habits, they form your character. And your character forms your destiny'.
'Set your mind' literally means 'to think'. It is used here in present continuous tense. The earlier verse says, 'seek those things that are above'. We are not only to 'seek' but also to 'set' our mind on things above. These are two imperatives or rather commands. 'Seek' sug- gests the outward aspiration and 'Set' points to our inward attitude or disposition. 'Set your mind' is not just an extension of our thoughts in any direction among others. It is a total mental orienta- tion and this we may call a 'mind- set'. Just as a compass always points to the north, our thoughts should always be only towards 'Where Christ is'.
By receiving salvation, we have a new life. We have the life of Jesus Christ in us. We have the forgive- ness of sins, reconciliation to the Father and the gift of the Holy Spirit
who comes to live in us. We are adopted into the family of God and we have heaven as our eternal home. These are some of the blessings we receive when we accept Jesus Christ as our Lord and Saviour.
Three main reasons why we should set our minds on things above:
- God commands us to do so,
- It is the only thing that makes sense in light of who we are in Christ and where we're going in Christ,
- It is the only pathway to joy and peace in this life both according to the Bible (Rom 8:6) as well as our own Christian experience.
To set our minds on things above means to actively and intentionally think about and concentrate on God, the Word of God, the things of God, the plan of God, the people of God, and the promises of God.
In Proverbs 23:7, we read, 'As a man thinketh, so is he'. Mind has a strong control over an individual by all means. In Romans 8:6, we see a 'carnal mind' and a 'spiritual mind'. The problem is in the thoughts of man. As we read in Genesis chapter six, during the time of Noah, every imagination of the thoughts of man's heart was evil continually. Even today our thought life has gone wild. The mind is like a battle field, unstable and struggling. It is here that Paul says to set your mind and keep it steady. Rom 12:1,2 says, 'Do not be conformed to this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind'.
There is a difference between brain and mind. The mind uses the brain
but the brain is not the mind. The mind is the thinking faculty of the soul. Our spiritual growth depends on what you feed your mind with. The brain is what the mind thinks with. The relationship between brain and mind is like the relation- ship between a piano and a pianist. Who plays the piano makes a difference in what comes out of it. When you get saved, you don't get a new brain but you get a new mind. IQ remains the same. According to 1 Cor 2:16, we have the mind of Christ. It is also true that even if we are saved, the war is still open in our minds. That is why Apostle Paul tells us in Phil 4:7, “And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”
Set your mind on things above. What does it mean? It is not running away from the realities of life, family, job, all else and become a sanyasi. Obviously, the thoughts of heaven that are to fill our minds must be derived from the scripture, the only reliable source about the character of God and the values of heaven. Such heavenly values dominating our minds produce godly behavior.
Why should we think of things above? Our spiritual growth, joys, and fruitfulness require that we maintain a proper perspective. We are in this world, but we are not of this world. We have to learn to fix our minds on heavenly realities. Few reasons are listed below:
- Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ is there in heaven (Acts 1:11).
Johnson B Thomas is a logistics management professional. He is in fellowship with Bethel Brethren Assembly, Ernakulam South, Kerala, India.
This article appeared in the April 2019 publication of Harvest Times.
Kind Permission taken from HARVEST TIMES FOR YOUR FAMILY, GLS MUMBAI, INDIA