If you haven’t listened to the Everyday Jesus podcast this week, I encourage you to do that now. Click on the player below.
Continuing on those thoughts, let’s look a little deeper at one of the points I made at the beginning of the podcast – Setting your mind on Christ. In Colossians we find a similar verse as the one we studied in Romans:
“Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory. Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry.” Col 3:2-5
This verse is similar to the one we looked at in the podcast, but it offers us something a little more telling. In this section of Scripture, Paul gives us something to do. We are to “put to death” the earthly thoughts.
This verse gives us no other option. We can’t live with our earthly thoughts. We can’t simply hide them. We can’t bury them deep down inside of us. We must kill them. We cannot suffer them to live.
Paul even does us one better, he gives us examples of what those thoughts would be: immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed. Notice he doesn’t name any deeds. He is clear, these are things that take place in your heart and mind. These are the things that leads to your deeds. If you start thinking lustful thoughts, before you know it, you are caught in adultery or fornication. If you are suffering greed to live in your life, you will soon be stealing from others to feed that beast.
The only option is to put those thoughts to death. But how? How are we to do these things? Paul tells us:
“Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.” Col 3:12-14
When we put our mind on Christ and seek the Spirit of God, we have to put to death earthly thoughts by thinking on the character of Christ. Paul calls it clothing ourselves in his character. Putting on compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.
Notice these are character elements, not deeds. If you put your mind to thinking about being patient, then you will be able to “bear with each other” as the verse says. You will be more patient by focusing on it. You will be more kind if you think kind thoughts.
And notice the last sentence – put on love. Love is the bedrock for everything we do as Christians. We cannot say that we follow Christ, if we do not love one another. Christ summed up the entire law in two statements – love God and love your neighbor. If we are thinking about loving others, there is no way for those earthly thoughts to live inside of us. Love is stronger than all of those things.
So hold fast to love. Don’t let it go. Dwell on it.
I’d love to hear your thoughts. What sins are you dealing with? How are you putting your mind on Christ and how has it helped you? Leave a comment below or send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.