As I mentioned a few days ago, I am memorizing a passage of Scripture: Colossians 3:1-17. It’s a daunting task, to be sure. However, I’m doing it by working my way through a devotional book based on those verses and it’s helping me take my time, ponder the meaning of words and phrases, and delve deeper into the richness of God’s Word.
In verse 2, Paul repeats something that’s a common topic in his instructions for Christian living. He says,
“Set you minds upon things above, not on earthly things.”
In the companion devotional, the author likens “things above”, “heavenly things”, or things “of the Spirit” to an AM radio station. He compares “earthly things” or “things of this world” to an FM station. We all have radios in our cars and we can choose the AM band or the FM band. The FM band has clear stations. The sound comes through loud and clear. The sound is in stereo. The message of this world is unmistakable: money, power, selfishness, and materialism.
The AM station doesn’t come through as clear. The station is difficult to tune in. It takes a little work to tune it in just right and hear its message. There is interference, but its message is also clear: self-sacrifice, compassion, and love. These are some of the values of the Kingdom of God.
Thinking about “things above” also involves contemplating what God has done for each of us. With the love He has lavished on us, we are now His children! Because of the love of the Father, Jesus made a way for us to be intimately connected to God through His Spirit. He now intercedes for us, seated at the right hand of God. Because of the Cross, we have been raised with Christ and are forgiven forever! That is something to think over.
Paul says in his letter to the Philippians…
Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. (4:8)
There is an acronym in computer programming – GIGO. It means, “Garbage In, Garbage Out.” What is inputted as programming language becomes output. If you program incorrectly, you get erroneous output. It’s the same in our lives here on earth: What we allow past our “ear-gates”, “eye-gates”, and “mind-gates” powerfully influences how we live.
This could translate as imposing a bunch of rules to Christian living, but laws never work. All I know is this: What I think about and where I set my heart drastically impacts my life and its quality. And I have a choice.
Justice. Purity. Love. Excellence. These are the “things above.”
Where are you tuning your radio?
The radio stations are great analogies.