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. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. (Colossians 3:1-3 ESV)
Putting on the mind of Christ is a brand new way of thinking. We have to retrain our brains by “taking every thought captive” so that we don’t fall back into our old sinful habits (2 Corinthians 10). Why is there so much emphasis on good Christian conduct? I suppose the answer lies within the motives that cause us to disobey the laws of God.
Sin often begins with a thought or an idea. The devil likes to tell us that we are missing out on something or being deprived by planting a bunch of notions in our heads. Issues of fairness, equity, and personal rights become areas of concern because we desire the same benefits that others have. And that is how the habit of coveting begins. If we let it run its course without tempering it, then we eventually become envious which is no benefit to us at all. The idea of being malicious do not seem so harmful because we justify our actions in the name of fairness and equal opportunity.
But if we say we belong to Christ, then there is no need for us to sin to meet our necessities of daily living. He has a wealth of resources and will sustain us. All he asks is that we focus on God’s kingdom and his righteousness (Matthew 6:33). Everything on this earth is temporary: education, jobs, material wealth, social status, etc. None of that matters when God decides when it is time to abolish all evil and restore creation. This makes me wonder why we even fight each other. Why go to war? Why compete for scarce resources? If God can draw water out of a rock and rain manna from the heavens, then why are we struggling with each other? We live on a broken planet and Satan is exploiting it so that we stay divided and apart from Jesus.
For those of us who are blessed with the understanding and acceptance of the gospel, we can live confidently and securely because our lives are with Christ now. We don’t have to fear death and we really don’t have to chase the secular good life. God is our Provider and he is all we need. He gives zero reasons for us to bicker and fight with each other. Instead, he tells us to outdo each other in showing honor and to love our enemies (Romans 12:10; Matthew 5:44). These are the “things that are above” that we shall dwell on and live out. This is the best life because it is rooted in the Lord.