Keep thinking about things above, not things on the earth. Colossians 3:2
Do you spend the majority of your day thinking about heavenly things? Neither do I. Often times my thoughts look something like: How am I going to get my to-do list done? I need to buy x, y, and z from Target. How am I going to fill the day so my kids don’t drive me crazy? Then my habits kick in and I do things without even thinking about it, such as scrolling through social media. These thoughts and actions do not produce peace or joy, they create anxiety and discontentment.
When Paul instructs us to set our minds on things above, not on earthly things, I believe he is waking us up to an alternative. I believe he is saying “there is another way.” He is encouraging us to focus on what really matters. Ultimately, he is asking us to shift our perspective and priorities - starting with our mind.
When I stay focused on heavenly things – Jesus, his promises, and eternity - I am filled with faith instead of fear. I am filled with peace instead of worry. So why do I spend so much time thinking about the things of this world instead of Jesus? The answer is quite simple: habit.
But there is good news! We can change our habits! When we partner with the Holy Spirit and ask him to renew our mind he will do just that! Romans 12:2 says, “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” By reading, studying, and meditating on the Word of God, we are doing our part. The Holy Spirit will do the heavy lifting of changing our old ways of thinking into new, godly ways of thinking. This new truth in our minds forms conviction in our heart and then translates into action. Therefore, we must first renew our minds.
Reflect & Respond:
1: Pay attention to your thoughts. What do you spend the majority of your time thinking about? Do these thoughts bring peace or anxiety? Keep a list of your reoccurring thoughts. This will help to identify specific areas of life that distract you.
2: Replace your thoughts. Write a Bible verse on a piece of paper or put it on your phone’s wallpaper. When you find yourself thinking about worldly things, read your Bible verse. Ponder the verse, ask God questions about it and think about how it applies to your life.
3: Be disciplined in your thoughts. We practice discipline to keep our bodies healthy by exercising and eating healthy. Our thought life is no different. We need to apply the same principles of intentionality and self-control to our thoughts.
Encouragement: Small changes add up to big results! Focus on the progress you are making and celebrate the small victories! Remember this is a life-long marathon, not a sprint.
Recommended Resource: Battlefield of the Mind by Joyce Meyer