Focal Passage: Colossians
In 1972, the United Negro
College Fund began an ad campaign that continues today. The slogan “A Mind is a
Terrible Thing To Waste” has become a catch phrase used by parents and teachers
alike to get students to sit up and pay attention; to value the learning
process and material before them.
So, one could deduce, a
wasted mind is one that isn’t used beyond daily subconscious existence; one not
stretched by education or challenged by opposing views but just existing in the
matter surrounding it. A wasted mind does not control but rather is controlled.
A wasted mind is, well, a waste.
But what about when it comes
to our faith? What part does our mind play in our Christian walk? In Romans,
Paul encourages us to “be transformed by the renewing of our minds.”
He uses such eloquent words
that we become dazzled by their rhythm while missing their point entirely. In
our scripture focus today, he gets a little more pointed.
Paul says “set your mind on
things above.” Teachers say “focus,” coaches say “get in the game,” but it’s
all the same meaning.
Determine right now for
yourself where your mind will be and put it there.
Notice that Paul doesn’t
say, “see how you feel and follow that path” or “tune into emotion and let it
lead you” or even “let the things of Christ fall upon your heart and mind” but
SET your mind … it’s a call for action, an intentionality on the part of the
person to willfully and deliberately make their minds focus on things above.
It’s as if Paul could hear
generations to come ask the same question, “How can I do that?”
One can almost imagine Paul
rolling his eyes as he spends the next few minutes going into great detail
about how to “set your mind on things above.”
He talks about the “old”
things we need to avoid and the “new” things we need to focus on.
He talks about attitudes and
actions to trash and virtues consistent with new life in Christ. He speaks of
how we are to treat each other (hopefully a product of our new-found focus of
our minds) and how it all works together in love.
It’s almost as if Paul is
saying, “if you control your mind — focus — you will be transformed in all