Set Your Mind on Things That Are Above

Perhaps you’ve heard someone described as “So heavenly-minded that they are no earthly good.”

You might picture a child sitting at his desk, unproductive in his studies because his mind is elsewhere, daydreaming, thinking of fishing or baseball or what’s for dinner. Is that what happens to a Christian who is thinking too much about heaven? So focused on eternity that they are unproductive for the kingdom in the present?

C.S. Lewis in Mere Christianity addresses what a heavenly focus entails, “It does not mean that we are to leave the present world as it is. If you read history you will find that the Christians who did most for the present world were just those who thought most of the next. The Apostles themselves, who set on foot the conversion of the Roman Empire, the great men who built up the Middle Ages, the English Evangelicals who abolished the Slave Trade, all left their mark on Earth, precisely because their minds were occupied with Heaven. It is since Christians have largely ceased to think of the other world that they have become so ineffective in this. Aim at Heaven and you will earth ‘thrown in’: aim at earth and you will get neither.”

I have noticed this to be true as well, particularly with the impulse within me to try to carve out a secure, comfortable, happy life here on earth. To seek in this life what is only promised in the next. The result is self-absorption, anxiety, and frustration. Aiming for earth, and getting neither.

Paul reminds us in Colossians 3: 1-4 If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your mind on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.

We have been raised with Christ. Our life is hidden with Christ in God. Christ is our life. So let us obey Scripture’s command to focus on Jesus, set our minds on things that are above, and look forward to his return and our eternity with him. Focusing on heaven, we can expect our souls to be liberated to bring His values to earth in loving service to others.

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