Set Your Mind

Our thought life is like a dodge-ball game.

If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth.

   - Colossians 3.1, 2

Shame on my thoughts, how they stray from me!
One moment they follow the ways of loveliness, and the next the ways of riotous shame...
Swiftly they leap in one bound from earth to heaven...
O beloved Christ...may the grace of the sevenfold Spirit come to keep them in check!


  - Anonymous, On the Flightiness of Thought, Irish, 8th-9th century

We identify with that anonymous scribe; we, too, are fairly undisciplined in our minds. Our thought life is like a dodge ball game, where we’re the only person on our side of the line, and all the world is arrayed against us, lobbing and firing all manner of thoughts, notions, ideas, and fleeting images against our brains, which we glimpse for a moment and duck away from, only to encounter the next. We have a hard time concentrating – at prayer, in church, during conversations, even at work. Setting our minds on mundane matters is hard enough; focusing on unseen things, well, we agree it’s important, but we don’t have a clue how to practice this aspect of faith (Heb. 11.1).

Three things are required: a growing clarity of mind concerning the landscape of unseen things (which we gain from Scripture); determination to live our lives from the heavenly vantage point; and time devoted to training our minds to focus on and conform to the things that are above. The imperative, “set”, implies a choice: we can either submit and obey, or continue in our undisciplined way of thinking. Our lives, Paul says, have been hidden with Christ in God. Why should we hide our minds amid the flotsam and jetsam of the sinking ship of mundane life?

Today would be a good day to begin learning to nurture a truly Biblical mindset toward all of life. Start by determining to gain a clear and compelling vision of the unseen realm from reading and meditating on God’s Word. Then work hard each day to remain focused on that vision and to live your life from within it.

It’s your mind. Where will you set it today?

Psalm 93.1, 2 (Trinity: “Come, Thou Almighty King”)
The Lord in majesty reigns, girded and clothed in strength!
Earth stands secure: Nor shall it e’er be moved;
God on His throne above set it in place with love –
His reign is sure!

O Savior of the human race, by Your ascension into heaven, by the beauty and great glory in which You dwell eternally at the right hand of God the Father, grant grace to me, a wretched sinner. Adapted from Litany of the Saviour

T. M. Moore, Principal
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[1] Davies, pp. 262, 263.

T.M. Moore

T. M. Moore is principal of The Fellowship of Ailbe, a spiritual fellowship in the Celtic Christian tradition. He and his wife, Susie, make their home in Essex Junction, VT. 

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