“Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.” ~ Colossians 3:2 NIV
For the last year, the topic that comes into mind quite often among my friends and I is when pursuing a job/career or the next step in our lives, are we keeping in mind that our desires and society have influenced our decisions to be more worldly or to be attentive to the direction that the Lord could be potentially leading us to. That is a long sentence and I am aware of its complexity but I could not think of a simpler way to put the situation we are in into words. The verse mentioned above in Colossians is a simpler answer to our complex situation.
For example, one worldly desire and need that influences a lot of my friends’ and my decisions is money. We have left jobs that did not financially support us in the amount we wanted and have been without a job for some time because we refused to apply for a job that would not pay enough. Initially, our intentions were not of greed and selfishness. We were only thinking ahead—able to pay off loans and bills, save money for when we have a family of our own—which is why most of us went to college. But as time goes on, we no longer have eternity in mind but instead allow the pressures of society and our own negative thinking to become the main priorities in our lives.
Setting our minds on things above opens up so many possibilities and gives us hope when we need it. But when our minds are on earthly things…well…my friends and I are already struggling with a lot of stress right now and it seems like there is no end. We continue to listen to advice that can potentially lead us into trusting man more than God. Hebrews 12:1 says, “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us” (NIV). In other words, we run.
Whatever cloud of earthy things that has trapped our minds and our thinking, we must throw it off. Whether it is our desires, media, even the people around us, we must overcome its affect on our lack of focus. How? Hebrews 12:2 provides the answer: “Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” This verse coincides perfectly with the verse in Colossians. Moreover, Hebrews 3:1 also repeats a similar message: “Therefore, holy brothers, who share in the heavenly calling, fix your thoughts on Jesus.” In other words, our eyes, our thoughts, everything, we must fix it on Jesus!
When we focus everything on Jesus, the earthly things will not affect us like they do now. If my friends and I would just look to the Lord—trusting in Him—we could see so much more and experience so much more: hope, joy, peace, trust, faithfulness from the Lord. So much more! Therefore, what we focus on can greatly impact our lives and our walk with Christ.