2 Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.
Those who are risen with Christ have not only a new spiritual pursuit (Colossians 3:1), but also a new passion, which Paul describes in our text for today.
The verb “set your affection” (phroneo) means “direct your mind to something”. A Christian’s thoughts should be directed to Christ and the things associated with where He now dwells. That is our ultimate destination; hence it must be our preoccupation while we live on this earth. We are to be heavenly-minded (“on things above”) because, as Paul says in Philippians 3:20, “For our conversation (or citizenship) is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ”.
What are your great interests? The great object of our contemplation should be the celestial city that Jesus is preparing for us. Readiness for that final home must be our greatest passion on earth.
While we are exhorted to be heavenly-minded, we are also cautioned not to be earthly-minded – “not on things on the earth”. Our affections should not be placed on wealth and health, houses and lands, honour and pleasure, etc. Neither should our passions be the worldly fashions and corrupting entertainments of this world. Worldly lusts must be denied. The deeds of the flesh, which are sinful, must be mortified. No provision should be made for the encroachment of worldly allurements.
While Christ and heaven draw us upwards, the world and its charms draw us downwards. Let us not yield to the pull of earthly things, but earnestly pursue heavenly things. Let us not love things that are earthly and perishing, but those that are heavenly and everlasting. The apostle John admonishes us in 1 John 2:15-16, “Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.”
Christians must always be conscious and deliberate to prefer and pursue heavenly and eternal matters above earthly and carnal matters. Unless our affections are set on the heavenly matters, we will never seek after them in a proper manner. Let Christ and heavenly things be our greatest concern, passion and pursuit. Let us be desirous of everything that fixes us to heaven and its eternal glory.