Colossians 3:2 - Is Your Mind Properly Set?

Col.3:2: Is Your Mind Properly Set?

Col 3:2 (KJV)  Set your affection on things above, not on things 
on the earth. 

Col 3:2 (NIV)  Set your minds on things above, not on earthly 

Col 3:2 (NLT) Think about the things of heaven, not the things 
of earth.  

Col 3:2 (TLB)  Let heaven fill your thoughts; don't spend your 
time worrying about things down here. 

Set your affection on. i.e. "continually think of," or 
"continually pay attention to." [SDA Commentary] 

Things above. That is, things in heaven - for where a man's 
treasure is, there his heart will be (Matt. 6:21). [SDA Commentary] 

The earth. This expression is in contrast with "heaven," implied 
in "above." Whereas heavenly things pertain to Christ and eternal 
life, earthly things have to do with the program set up by Satan in 
rebellion against God, and from them the Christian turns, [SDA 


The false teachers were instructing the Colossians to 
concentrate on temporal observances; in contrast, Paul instructs them to 
concentrate on the eternal realities of heaven. The Greek verb for set 
emphasizes an ongoing decision. Christians must continually discipline 
themselves to focus on eternal realities, instead of the temporal realities 
of this earth. [Nelson SB] 

God has the first and highest claims upon His people. Set your 
affections upon Him and upon heavenly things. Your tendrils must be severed 
from everything earthly. 6BC1102 

We are to set our heart (or mind) on things above (vv. 1-2); we 
are to put to death practices that belong to our earthly nature (v. 
5); and we are to rid ourselves of practices that characterized our 
unregenerate self (v. 8). [NIV SB mod] 

Heaven's priorities can be part of life here on earth. Setting 
our hearts on things above means striving to put heaven's priorities 
into daily practice. Setting our minds on things above means 
concentrating on the eternal rather than the temporal. [Life Application SB] 

Setting their "hearts on things above" (3:1) meant "striving" to 
put heaven's priorities into daily practice. Setting their minds on 
things above meant "concentrating" on the eternal rather than the 
temporal, letting their thoughts dwell in the realm of Christ. They were 
to focus on the Lord Jesus. Thoughts can influence actions, so if 
the believers would place their thoughts above and not on the earth, 
their actions would please God.... Not on things on the earth refers to 
the legalistic rituals, the false methods used to achieve holiness, 
and even to the basic principles of the world described in chapter 
2.... But on what "things" were they to set their minds? Paul had 
explained this in another letter: "Finally, beloved, whatever is true, 
whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is 
pleasing, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence and if there 
is anything worthy of praise, think about these things" (Phil 4:8). 
(The Life Application Commentary Series) 

Our minds take the level of the things on which our thoughts 
dwell, and if we think upon earthly things, we shall fail to take the 
impress of that which is heavenly. We would be greatly benefited by 
contemplating the mercy, goodness, and love of God; but we sustain great loss 
by dwelling upon those things which are earthly and temporal. We 
allow sorrow and care and perplexity to attract our minds to earth, 
and we magnify a molehill into a mountain. . . . Temporal things are 
not to engage our whole attention, or engross our minds until our 
thoughts are entirely of the earth and the earthly. We are to train, 
discipline, and educate the mind so that we may think in a heavenly channel, 
that we may dwell on things unseen and eternal, which will be 
discerned by spiritual vision. It is by seeing Him who is invisible that 
we may obtain strength of mind and vigor of spirit  6BC1100 

"For you died" means that we should have as little desire for 
this world as a dead person would have. The Christian's real home is 
where Christ lives (John 14:2, 3). This truth gives us a different 
perspective on our lives here on earth. To "set your minds on things above" 
means to look at life from God's perspective and to seek what he 
desires. This is the antidote to materialism; we gain the proper 
perspective on material goods when we take God's view of them. The more we 
regard the world around us as God does, the more we will live in 
harmony with him. We must not become too attached to what is only 
temporary.  [Life Application SB] 

It's easy for us to feel down. When we do, Paul has a 
suggestion. Look up. Look up, and see Christ seated at the right hand of 
God. And then realize that you are up there too for "your life is now 
hidden with Christ in God."  In Tarpon Springs, a little city about 10 
miles from where we live, one of the major occupations is sponge 
diving. The sponge diver puts a helmet on his head, drops into the 
water, and as he gathers sponges he breathes through air lines fed by 
pumps in a boat far above him. Without that connection to a source of 
life far above him, the diver would be unable to survive.  Paul is 
telling us that we too live this life in a dangerous and deadly 
environment. But we too are connected to a source of life far above us. 
Whenever we feel down, or get discouraged, or feel endangered, we're to 
fix our minds not on what surrounds us, but on what sustains us. The 
very life force of Jesus flows into and through us. Because we are 
connected to Him, we will not only survive. We will triumph. [The 365-Day 
Devotional Commentary] 

In Christ, you have died to the old life and been raised to a 
new life, so make the new life the focus of your attention. Set your 
mind on it; seek to experience all that you have in Christ. [Chapter 
by Chapter Bible Commentary by Warren Wiersbe]