Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. Colossians 1:2–3 (NIV)
We live in a Colorado mountain town, where four feet of snow blankets the ground more than half the year. Right after we adopted our little rescue dog, Quill, he used the snow as a launchpad and jumped the fence. He had survived on the streets alone for two years and saw the fence as an obstacle between him and freedom.
I yelled for him to come back. No response. I raced out the door in my pajamas, slipping and sliding all over the frozen road in my fuzzy slippers. Quill was oblivious and in hot pursuit of my neighbor who was walking her dog—also a rescue but an aggressive one. She grabbed Quill’s collar and kept the dogs separated until I arrived and scooped Quill up. I thanked her and marched home with him under one arm, lecturing him the entire way.
Old Habits, New Person
Later, I thought about how similar my behavior can be to Quill’s. My old habits and mindset are part of an old life, one that doesn’t include Jesus. Even though I’m a new person now, I still sometimes jump over the boundaries God creates to protect me. I still sometimes act like I don’t hear Him calling me as I chase after shiny things that aren’t always the best things. Self-sufficiency still hangs around and tries to lure me back into a world where I make all the (wrong) decisions.
- I choose being right over being kind.
- I focus more on what I want to do than who I want to be.
- I pursue all the right goals for all the wrong reasons.
Maybe you’ve had these “sometimes” moments, too. We falter and then dwell on our mistakes, but God’s Word points us in a different direction. Colossians 1:2 says: “Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.”
In the original Greek language, the verb “set” (v. 2) shows a pattern of thought—an ongoing decision. We may have days when our words are not Christlike or times when we push God out of our decisions, but His word tells us we can surrender and choose to begin again.
When we condemn ourselves and get bogged down in the “sometimes” moments, we lose sight of the big-time moments that are defined by our relationship with Jesus. Colossians 1:3 reminds us “For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God.”
The verb “hidden” (v. 3) describes a past action that has ongoing, permanent results. Jesus died on the cross and gave us a new life. We accepted Him and received that new life, which doesn’t stop when we make mistakes. Yes, we need to set our thoughts and decisions on “things above,” but when we fall short, we need to set our hope on things above, too.
Our new life is eternally secure, because it’s not dependent on what we do, it’s dependent on what Jesus has already done.
Father, thank You for the new life I have because Jesus died on the cross for me. When my mistakes discourage me, help me remember that my life is safely tucked away with Him.
Romans 8:34, “Who then is the one who condemns? No one. Christ Jesus who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us.” (NIV)
Reflect and Act
What mistakes have recently discouraged you? Write them down on paper, fold the paper over, and write one of today’s verses on the outside. This will help you remember that Jesus has you covered, and your life is hidden in Him.