Devotion #52

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 minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth.

Colossians 3:1-2 ESV

Where we set our minds determines our actions and our words. God tells us to set our minds on the things that are above because He know when we set our minds on the things of this world—our jobs, our fears, our politics, it negatively influences what we say and do. Our marriages are impacted by where we set our minds, so it’s critical to take the time and think about where the world has your thoughts. What are you choosing to think about instead of God? 

What has a hold of our minds spills out on to other people in conversation, so listen to your words. If your words do not honor God, it’s a huge red flag that your mind is set on worldly things. If our minds are set on things of this world, if becomes challenging to glorify God with our words and our actions because our focus is on what the world values. 

For example, if success in our careers is consuming our thoughts, we may grow stressed over the quality of work we produce or the amount that we need to accomplish before a deadline. Perhaps there’s a difficult task or a difficult relationship at work standing in the way of our accomplishments, or maybe we got passed over for a promotion and are feeling like we’ll be stuck in our low-end job forever. We can spend so much time rolling these thoughts around in our heads, trying to find a way to solve them, that we become consumed. When these are the thoughts that capture our attention, we are setting our minds on the things of this earth. Our words will sound like our thoughts—they become more stressed and rushed, they sound harsh and unkind. We stop listening and loving our spouse well because our thoughts are focused on gaining success in the world; we stop showing grace and mercy because our priorities have shifted to align with the world. 

When our minds are set on the things of the world, we quiet the voice of the Spirit, and the world dictates our responses. We will justify why we do and say things according to the world’s standards rather than God’s standards.

Sometimes we justify setting our thoughts on the things of this world because they’re not necessarily sinful. Watching the news or thinking about the state of affairs in our country are not sinful actions, but when we begin to dwell on them to the point of an emotional response – whether that’s fear over an epidemic or rage over a candidate, they impact our interactions. As we set our minds on the things of the world, we develop opinions and judgments based on the world’s standards. We defend our right to those opinions and judgments of others because our minds are set on the world, and the world tells us we have a right to those opinions. In defense of those opinions, our words grow critical, judgmental, and destructive.

We are to breathe out grace and love in every breath. God calls believers to be ambassadors of His Word with every word we speak. It is literally impossible to do that if our minds are set on things of the world. Listen to your words. Do they glorify God? If they don’t, take a minute to explore where your mind is set. 

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.

Philippians 4:8 ESV

This is where your mind should be set—not on your fears, not on your material possessions, not on your opinions or your beliefs. Your mind should be set on the things of God. Run your thoughts past this list in Philippians—are your thoughts honorable and true? Are they pure and lovely? Are they worthy of praise? Is God being glorified with your thoughts? 

It’s okay to allow thoughts of the world into our minds. There is nothing wrong with thinking about your career or watching the news, but if you are spending more time thinking about those things than you are about the things of God, then you’re setting your mind on the things of this world. If your thoughts are not honorable and true, if they’re not pure and lovely, if they’re not full of praise, then you need to stop and humble yourself before the Lord. Set your mind on thing that are above and He will bless your relationships.

Press on ~ you are loved 💗

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