“There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death. For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do. By sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, he condemned sin in the flesh, in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit. For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace. For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God’s law; indeed, it cannot. Those who are in the flesh cannot please God. You, however, are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if in fact the Spirit of God dwells in you. Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him.” Romans 8:1-9
“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
Many ideas and passions vie for our mindsets every day, fingering our thoughts to twist and shape them in certain directions. We are bombarded from the moment we awaken with the coming day: responsibilities, opportunities, and the many choices before us of stress, fear, hopeful anticipation, dread. Once we arise, the options multiply, as demands are made on our time, our mental capacity, our energy. How do we develop and maintain a healthy mindset to handle our day to day?
Paul sets a clear regimen before us. Since we are no longer under condemnation because we are now in Christ, we can shake off the temptation to loathe ourselves, to wallow in regret, whining over shortcomings, and self-pity. We can set aside crabbiness at our inconveniences, disdain and even vitriol for those who do not see the way we do, and a sour outlook at things beyond our control. We can say no to anxiety about our many burdens and inner turmoil over what might or might not happen. That is all a flesh-mindset, for which Jesus died and rose in victory.
A mind set on Christ is free from the entanglements of this world, and sees life through the lens of a Risen Savior who has claimed victory, and a great Redeemer who is working all things together for our good. It recites with thanksgiving what is true, noble, right, pure, and lovely. It is full of hope, peace, and joy. (John 19:28-30; Romans 8:28; Philippians 4:8)
So where will I set my mind today? What difference will it make in how I see and love others, and how I go about my duties, when all is from and unto Christ?