What do you spend the majority of your time thinking about? When you have free moments to daydream, where do you notice your thoughts wandering? As you’re getting ready for a busy day ahead at school or work, what’s going through your mind?
The truth is that what we think about, often determines our responses to circumstance. Our thoughts correlate with where we invest the majority of our time, energy, and money.
Will we focus on temporary things with little consequence or will we focus on eternal realities? That’s the question that Paul wants us to answer in this passage. Rather than focusing on earthly things of less significance, Paul wants us to think about Jesus and all that Christ has accomplished on our behalf. As we enter into the text, may we fix our eyes on our Creator, rather than His creation.
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. 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.
Questions to Consider
1. How many times do you notice that Paul uses the word “Christ” in this passage?
2. What do you think is the significance of this repetition?
3. What does it mean to “set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth” (3:2)?
4. What does Paul mean by saying that “you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God” (3:3)?
5. What are some earthly things that you tend to focus on in an unhealthy or idolatrous way?
6. What are some practical ways to set your mind on Christ?
This summer, I’m reflecting on where I focus my attention and what I let through the doorways of my mind. Specifically, when it comes to social media.
In between work meetings, at stoplights, yes, even during church service on Sundays, I find myself trying to sneak in an opportunity to check what’s happening in the world. I wonder, What’s so and so up to? (even if that means snooping I’m gonna start snooping in on the lives of absolute strangers). We’ve all been there, right? When you dazily look up from your phone screen and realize that you just spent the past hour scrolling through photos from the tropical vacation of your best friends’ sister’s coworker, who you’ve never met before. Raise a hand if you’ve done it.
And we normalize this kind of behavior, right? Maybe even chuckle at how our curiosity got the better of us in that moment, then shrug it off. I know I have.
But at the end of the day when I go to rest my head on my pillow, my mind won’t turn off. I try to fall asleep, but can’t stop thinking about everything that I was looking at on social media. All those images and recommended reels keep cycling through my brain. I become consumed with thoughts about earthly things, rather than things above. I end up placing God’s creation on a pedestal in my mind that was meant for Christ alone.
Paul says in Romans 12:2 “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind.” Renewed thinking is a key ingredient for transformed living - the supernatural ability to love God and love others.
My prayer for us this summer, as followers of Christ, is to experience a renewed focus on Christ alone. In the midst of so much distraction, so many messages and influencers trying to grab our attention, I hope that we can commit to placing our eyes on Jesus - the author and perfecter of our faith. May He be the object of our affections and the focus of our gaze.
Do you want to listen to the podcast recording of this devotional? Available now anywhere you get your podcasts! Here is the link to this week's episode.