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I have heard Colossians 3:2 recited a few times recently. It says, “Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.” (NIV)
As I thought about it, I came up with a list of “earthly things” that might command our attention. See if any of these are things you tend to focus on, too:
These aren’t bad things to think about. A good employee pays attention to his work. You need to pay attention to your kids and their needs for sure! Bills need to be paid on time, debt requires diligence to eliminate, and we should take care of our health.
However, if any one of these becomes our main priority, then our focus is wrong and will trip us up. I like how Eugene Peterson’s The Message paraphrases that verse:
“Don’t shuffle along, eyes to the ground, absorbed with the things right in front of you. Look up, and be alert to what is going on around Christ-that’s where the action is. See things from his perspective.”
It’s easy to focus on the things right in front of us, isn’t it? That’s what we see every day. Those are the things that demand our time and attention.
The difference is, we shouldn’t become so focused on those things that we develop tunnel vision. We have to be able to step back and see what’s happening as if through a lens. What is it that God is doing around us? Where do we fit into His picture, and what would He have us do with those things that are in front of us?
By focusing on His involvement in our world and our lives, we will find our thoughts more often considering His perspective. And isn’t that the “heavenly things” we should set our minds on?
What distracts you from setting your mind on heavenly things? I pray that today you will be able to see God at work around you, and that the experience will encourage you all the more to “set your mind on things above, not on earthly things.”