Have you ever looked at a verse from the Bible and thought to yourself, there’s no way I could do that! Colossians 2 is one such verse. “Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. (Colossians 2:3)
At first glance, this one verse seems completely out of touch with those of us who have to pay attention to everyday things on earth. Things like taking care of kids, cleaning house, working a full time job, or even driving. How are we supposed to set our mi;do on things that are above when the things on earth are so urgent and necessary?
So often it’s too easy to take one Bible verse at a time and give it a cursory glance. When we read Scripture with that approach, we seldom arrive at any conclusions the author intended. To best understand the meaning of a passage, it important to understand the context.
The context for Colossians 3 is the rest of the argument, the rest of the letter, the rest of the New Testament and the rest of the Bible. There’s a grand story behind Paul’s exhortation in Colossians and we need to interpret the passage properly.
When Paul wrote his letter to the Colossians, he often reminded his readers of the big picture. The first few sentences in Colossians 3 are a brilliant example of this big picture reminder. When Paul reminds us of what Christ has done in the past, is doing today and will do tomorrow, it makes exhortation like “Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things” resound with joy filled simplicity. Remembering that we have died and risen with Christ, that our live are hidden with Him, and that He’s coming back for us, will make it so much easier to fill our minds with thoughts of Him and the life He wants for us.
Even in the midst of our urgent earth-bound tasks, our minds can be preoccupied with Jesus, the beauty of His character,the astonishing mercy of what He’s done for us. His patient work in the world today and the mind-boggling reality of what He promised to do in the future.