Colossians 3:2

Thursday, 4 May 2017

Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth. Colossians 3:2

Paul now builds upon the words of the previous verse. He just said, “If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God.” Because of this, he implores those in Colossae (and thus us!) to “set your mind on things above.”

The Greek word translated as “set your mind” is an interesting one. It is phronéō. This in turn comes from phrḗn, which is the midriff or diaphram; the parts around the heart. Thus it carries the idea of regulating from within, as in an inner perspective which then is displayed in an outward behavior. This may seem difficult to grasp because it combines the visceral organs with cognitive aspects of thinking, but we do this with other body parts quite often. If we say, “my heart will be with you,” we are simply using the heart instead of these other organs to show where our affections are.

Paul is exhorting his readers to have their thoughts directed to heavenly things instead of those “things on the earth.” We have died to the things of the world, and so our hearts should be oriented to where we have been raised to instead. As the scholar Lightfoot says, “You must not only seek heaven; you must think heaven.”

Life application: Do not let the world drag you out of your heavenly home. If you have been raised with Christ, then live for Christ.

Lord God, You precious word tells us that we have been crucified with Christ. We have been buried with Him in baptism, and we have been raised with Him, being seated in the heavenly places in Christ. As this is so, why should we allow this fallen, dirty world to drag us out of our heavenly home? Grant us the wisdom to understand that there is nothing here but loss, and to set our affections on the things which are above. Help us to anticipate the day when Christ comes to take us home, and to live now with that hope in mind. Amen.

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