A letter on self-evaluation

Barrett Jones
Posted 8/24/19

What is your situation when it comes to spiritual matters? Do you give it some thought or perhaps a great deal? When Paul wrote to the Colossians, he …

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A letter on self-evaluation

Posted

Dear reader, 

What is your situation when it comes to spiritual matters? Do you give it some thought or perhaps a great deal? When Paul wrote to the Colossians, he made the appeal in chapter three that “If” they were “risen” with Christ then they would “seek those things which are above,”. In the second verse he instructs to “set your mind on things above,” NKJV. Paul was not just talking to the Colossians; he was talking to all those who are “risen in Christ” verse one. In chapter 2:12 of Colossians these individuals are defined as those who are “Buried with him in baptism,”. Paul was speaking to Christians, and is still speaking to Christians today with these words.

When we set our minds to something what does this mean? You have determined to do something or obtain something. This is not a casual thing to most people. It can mean that we go to great lengths and effort to fulfill what we have set our minds on. For example; we set our minds on completing a college degree, or on a particular job, or job advancement. Would this not be the same context that Paul is telling us referring to the Christian life throughout chapter three. If you’re a Christian you ought to have your mind set on heavenly things and not on things of the earth, paraphrasing. How do we measure up when we compare ourselves to what Paul would have us to do?

Do you like recreation? This writer certainly does. But do we like recreation to the point that we have set our mind on earthly things rather than heavenly? Do you remember the last football championship better than your last gospel sermon? Could you tell me how many strikes your favorite pitcher pitched in their last game better than you can what must be done to obtain eternal life?

 Have you made great effort to ensure your children made perfect attendance for school, but that same effort is not made to make sure they don’t miss services? How much time do you or I spend reading social media vs. reading what God said through his word? II Tim. 3:16. 

If we say that we are Christians do we honestly set our minds on things above? If your honest answer to yourself is no then you can change your position.

Paul himself told the Corinthians in his first book in chapter 9:27 “But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.” NKJV. Paul was also subject to temptation and allowing his mind to slip from what it should be on. The Hebrew writer tells of such in Heb. 2:1 “Therefore we ought to give the more earnest heed to the things which we have heard, lest at any time we should let them slip.” KJV.  Paul told the Philippians in chapter 3:12-15 that he continually made effort for the “prize of the high calling of God”. Not that he obtained the prize and stopped trying, “I press toward the mark” KJV. In verse 15 he urges Christians to “be thus minded”. Toward the conclusion of Paul’s life, he tells Timothy in his second letter in chapter 4:6-8 “I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith.” KJV. Because he continually set his mind on things above and kept the faith, he verse 8 had “a crown of righteousness” awaiting him. 

We can also be tempted, James 1:14 (But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed.), and we also must guard against falling away from who we should be, like the Galatians in chapter 1:6. “I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel:”. Paul, through his example of life, shows us the way to live as we should. Setting our minds on things above, guarding against temptation, and continually fighting till the end. John, through inspiration, tells the church in Smyrna in Revelations 2:10 “be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life.”. 

Without a doubt these few words are difficult to apply to our lives today. Make no mistake, that this, writer does not struggle with these applications. “God is no respecter of persons” Acts 10:34. Paul was not exempt from life’s issues and neither are you or I. 

We must, fight the good fight, I Tim. 6:12, by keeping our minds set on things above, and not on things of this earth Col. 3:1; as we continue reaching and pressing toward the mark, Phil. 1:13-14; 20-21; in order to finish our course successfully II Tim. 4:6-8.