Set Your Mind- Colossians 3:2

In Colossians 3:2, Paul commands (imperative mood) believers to “set your mind on things above, not on earthly things”. What does Paul mean here by the term “set your mind”, just what is it he commands us to do? We will use a biblical example in order to show what this means and why it is important in our lives. For our example, we turn to a story in Numbers 13. In this incident, Israel is about to enter the promised land, and Moses sends out twelve spies to scout out the land and report back on what it is like. In Numbers 13:17-25, we find the story of their expedition into the land and their depiction of what they find there. They return from the land and all twelve give an identical report, the land is flowing with milk and honey and is filled with giants (verses 26-29). We will pick up the story in verse 30-31, in which we find two different responses to the same reality, with two of the spies saying they should go take possession of the land, and ten of them saying they should not. How did these two groups arrive at different responses to the same reality? There is a four step process pictured here which we will examine in each group to see where the difference is. This process begins for both with the senses perceiving reality, and their senses all see the same thing, the land is flowing with milk and honey and is filled with giants. The second step is that the mind processes what the senses see, and this is where two groups head in opposite directions. The ten conclude that “we can’t attack , they are stronger than we are” (verse 31), while the two conclude that “we should go, we can certainly do it” (verse 30). The third step is that the emotions respond to what the mind processes. The ten report that “we seemed like grasshoppers in our own eyes” (verse 33), while the two report that they “tore their clothes” (Numbers 14:6), showing their distress at the reaction of the others. The ten have a negative emotional reaction, while the two have a positive one. The fourth step is that the will acts based on what the mind and emotions contribute. The ten act by deciding to “choose a leader and go back to Egypt” (Numbers 14:4), while the two act by deciding that “the Lord will lead us into that land, and will give it to us” (verse 8). So what is the moral of this story, and what does it have to do with “setting your mind”? It was the choice of how to set their minds that determined the different paths which the two groups took. They both saw the exact same thing, but one group chose to focus upon the giants, while the other chose to focus on the word of God, which told them that this was a land which God says “I am giving to the Israelites” (Numbers 13:1). This is what Paul means by the phrase “set your minds”. One group chose to focus upon the negative circumstances, while the other chose to focus on the truth of the word of God. One set its mind on things above, while the other set its mind on earthly things. We also see the importance of mindset, for what they set their minds on determined their emotional responses, as well as what they chose to do. The same is true in our lives, and this is why Paul commands us to set our minds on things above. Choosing to focus on the truth of the word of God will help ensure that we respond in a godly way to the circumstances of life, while choosing to focus on the circumstances will only help ensure that we respond in the wrong way. “Setting our minds” is a choice which each of us makes in every situation we encounter in life, and how we set our minds will determine the direction in which we ultimately will head. May we all pay heed to Paul’s command, and, like the two spies, choose to set our minds on things above (on the truth of God’s word), so that we will head in the direction in which God wants us to go.

No Comments Faith  //  Growing In Grace  //  Scripture and Truth

Comments are closed.

Pure Spiritual Milk

SEO Copy... Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Suspendisse nunc turpis, cursus et interdum sed, lobortis vitae nunc. Integer placerat tellus odio, non sodales arcu fermentum id. Mauris vitae eleifend leo, et rhoncus odio. Ut et arcu eu ex tempus ultricies eu vel lorem. Curabitur eu consectetur neque. Suspendisse volutpat nibh urna, sit amet aliquet augue imperdiet in. Etiam eget felis pellentesque, dapibus dolor ut, sodales justo. Mauris eu arcu lectus. Suspendisse odio ex, dignissim sit amet ornare eget, elementum at odio.