Can we be too Heavenly Minded?


“You can be so heavenly minded that you’re no earthly good.” is one of those clichés that I’ve heard repeatedly echoed throughout my life. Is it accurate? Can we be too heavenly minded? In Colossians chapter 3 the apostle Paul commands us to set our minds on things that are above and not on things that are on the earth. He instructs us to seek after heavenly things. We are told to intentionally refocus our attention on the things of God. We have to think about that which is heavenly. This is specifically set in contrast to the things that are earthly. Is this promoting a disregard of physical concerns like feeding the hungry, caring for the environment or mowing your lawn? I think not! I’ve been rereading a good book titled The Hope of Glory: 100 Daily Meditations on Colossians and today I came across this passage that strongly speaks to this issue.

“The problem with the church today is not that there are too many people who are passionately in love with heaven. The problem is not that professing Christians are retreating from the world, spending half their days reading Scripture and the other half singing about their pleasures in God all the while indifferent to the needs of the world. The problem is that professing Christians are spending ten minutes reading Scripture and then half their day making money and the other half enjoying and repairing what they spend it on.

It is not heavenlimindedness that hinders love. It is worldlimindedness that hinders love, even when it is disguised by a religious routine on the weekend. Where is the person whose heart is so passionately in love with the promised glory of heaven that he feels like an exile and a sojourner on the earth? Where is the person who has so tasted the beauty of the age to come that the diamonds of the world look like baubles, and the entertainment of the world is empty, and the moral causes of the world are too small because they have no view to eternity? Where is this person? He is not in bondage to TV-watching or eating or sleeping or drinking or partying or fishing or sailing. . . . He is a free man in a foreign land. And his one question is this: How can I maximize my enjoyment of God for all eternity while I am an exile on this earth? And his answer is always the same: by doing the labors of love.

Only one thing satisfies the heart whose treasure is in heaven: doing the works of heaven. And heaven is a world of love! It is not the cords of heaven that bind the hands of love. It is the love of money and leisure and comfort and praise – these are the cords that bind the hands of love. And the power to sever these cords is Christian hope.”

We need to be heavenly minded, so we can do earthly good. When you take a good look at how you are living, do you think you could truthfully be described as one who is heavenly minded? If not, it’s time to make a change. What is one thing you can do this week in order to set your mind more firmly on the things of God?

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