“Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth” Colossians 3:2.
The mind is a pretty complicated thing – it’s like the control room of our lives. Wars are waged here; in fact, I’ve heard it said that the mind is the Christian’s battlefield. No wonder God instructs me to “set” my mind, to make an active choice regarding what my mind will focus on.
In her book, Grace for the Good Girl, (AMAZING book, by the way) Emily Freeman says, “When I don’t set my mind, my mind sets itself…If I don’t set it, it will inactively switch into default mode.” So, what’s your “default mode”? It may be different for each of us. Lately, mine seems to be discouragement. I’ve been a perfectionist my whole life (though you wouldn’t guess it to look at my very-lived-in house of littles). I’m constantly aware of what needs to be done and it’s pretty disheartening to feel like I can’t keep up. In fact, sometimes I won’t even start a project (like cleaning or organizing) because I know I can’t do it all. Or because I know it will just get undone as soon as I finish. And the discouragement often leads to irritability and impatience, as life and little people get in the way of my “to do” list.
So, what do I need to set my mind on – what heavenly things am I supposed to put in charge of my control room? I think the surrounding verses shed light. Verse one says, “Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God.” Verses three and four continue, “For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory.” Knowing who my God is – the One who died and rose again on sinners’ behalf, who ascended to heaven and sat down (signifying His completed victory!), who is coming again in glory…knowing this is crucial. It’s the most important thing for a Christian to know and set her mind upon. And secondly, but also vital, I must know my new identity in Him. My old self, the “me” apart from Jesus, that self has died. But I have been raised up with Christ – He Himself is my very life. His victory makes a life of victory possible for me. And one day I will appear with Him in glory.
Knowing my God and knowing my new self…this is of utmost importance, to know and to set my mind upon.