Over the next several days I'll be writing about Colossians chapter 3 as our Bible study is going through it now. This chapter, like the ones before it, is jam packed with truth and applications.
"Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things." Colossians 3:1-2
As I wrote last week, our baptism declares that we were crucified and buried with Christ and raised to walk in new life. Paul spells that out and then transitions to let his readers know what it looks like to walk in new life. To walk in new life, Paul says, we must set our heart and mind on heavenly things.
To set our heart on the things above is , as Matthew Henry says, "to set our affections upon them, to love them and to let our desires be toward them." Paul tells us to fall in love with the things of God. Our heart will chase after what it loves, so we must set our heart on things above. We have to point our hearts toward its goal which is God and His ways.
To set our minds on things above is to think about the things and ways of God. This is much of what we do in theology. We study to know God more. We read our Bibles and great writers to get our minds to think about the Almighty more and more.
"The heart is deceitful above all things..." Jeremiah 17:9
Our hearts are not naturally something that we should follow. We tell people to follow their heart, but that is really bad advice unless they've told their heart what to follow. Our heart is deceitful and will lead us astray. Our heart left on its own will pull us into the lusts of the flesh not the service of God. That is why I think that Paul tells us to set our heart and mind on the things above.
The mind left on its own does us little good. There are many theology professors that are danger of Hell because they know it all but have not fallen in love with God. We are told in Luke 10:27 to "love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and all your mind." The mind engaged without the heart does not love God as He deserves, and perhaps the mind cannot love God at all on its own.
The Christian life is about passion and knowledge for God. Passion without knowledge will always be misguided; knowledge without passion will be empty. The way to set your hearts and minds on the things above is not to find which one you are doing well and back it off until it equals the lesser. No, we must maximize both. If you are lacking in passion, I urge you to set your heart on the things above in any way possible. If you are lacking in knowledge, I beg you to put yourself under good teaching and soak it up till you pop like a tick.
"Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things" today.