Thursday, July 21, 2011


"And set your minds and keep them set on what is above-the higher things-not on the things that are on the earth." (Colossians 3:2).

   The NIV interprets the commands of vv.1-2 as essentially the same. There may, however, be a slight difference. Setting the heart on things above (v.1) is descriptive of one's aim for the practical pursuit of the Christian life. Setting the mind (v.2) on things above refers more to one's inner disposition. There is, of course, an intimate connection between the two.

   To set the mind on (lit., "think on") things above has the connotation of giving heavenly things a large place in one's thought life-seeing to it that the governing tendency of thought and will is toward God. This of course, does not mean withdrawal from all the activities of this world to engage only in contemplation of eternity and heaven. The verses that follow make it quite clear that Paul expected Christians to maintain normal relationships in this world. But genuine Christians will see everything against the background of eternity.
   "Earthly things" are not all evil, though some of them are. Even things harmless in themselves become harmful if permitted to take the place that should be reserved for the "things above." Here "earthly things" may be understood to include wealth, worldly honor, power, pleasures, and the like. To make such things the goal of life and the subject of preoccupation is unworthy of those who have been raised with Christ and look forward to sharing in his eternal glory.
{Zondervan NIV BIBLE COMMENTARY Volume 2: New Testament}.


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