Practical Ways to Set Your Mind On Things Above

Would you like some tips on how to set your mind on things above? If so, then you have come to the right place! 

In our world today, we are constantly being bombarded with all things not of God. It’s like one big sin party all around us. Whether you’re watching TV (even kid shows), scrolling through social media, or reading any kind of magazine, the media is not encouraging anything related to righteousness. 

As believers who have been called out of darkness into His marvelous light (I Peter 2:9), we need to be striving to dwell on truth and eternal things. 

We need to take our thoughts captive! 

Let’s unpack Colossians 3 together and discuss some helpful ways to set our minds on things above!

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What is the Message of Colossians 3?

In Colossians 3, the apostle Paul takes some time to unpack what it looks like to live a life that’s pleasing to the Lord, as those made alive in Christ. 

  • In the beginning few verses, he mentions setting both your minds and your hearts on things above (vs 1-2). 
  • He speaks about putting off the old self and putting on the new self, which is made in the likeness of Christ (vs 9-10). 
  • Paul goes on in one big exhortation, encouraging the believers to act like believers. He encourages them to put on compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience, and to forgive others and put on love (vs 12-14). 
  • Later in the passage he mentions on two different occasions about living your life in a way that honors the Lord. As believers, everything we do should be done in the name of Jesus and to bring honor to Him, not to man (vs 17, 23). 

Colossians 3 is about living as children of light, and reflecting that light to the world in a way that honors God. 

What Does It Mean to Set Your Mind on Things Above?

Now let’s unpack what it means to set your mind on things above.

What does this look like for us as believers? 

Setting your mind on things above conjures up these words: focus, discipline, meditation, eternal mindset, Scripture, intentionality. 

If we are to be thinking on eternal things, it requires effort!

Here are some ideas on how to set your mind on things above:

Read The Word

There are so many ways to dig into Scripture these days. You can open up your Bible, turn the pages, and scour the Word, allowing the Spirit to speak to your heart.

If you feel too frazzled and busy to read the Word, you can always LISTEN to Scripture. Grab your smartphone, download any number of different bible reading apps, and go for it! Listening to Scripture is a great way to pass the time when you’re driving, doing household chores, or even cooking! Whatever it takes to get the Word in your mind and heart! There are 24 hours in a day…we can definitely carve out the time for the Word! 

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Monthly Bible Reading Plan PDF

Memorize Scripture

This summer I decided to take on the challenge of memorizing all of Ephesians. I’ve always enjoyed Scripture memory, and I felt like I needed a big challenge, something to keep me motivated. 

Right after the start of the new school year, I was done! My daughter helped me proof, and she was great about listening to me recite it to her. 

I didn’t memorize Ephesians for a gold star or lots of social media likes or high fives. I did it for my own mind and heart. In order to memorize huge passages of Scripture, you have to practice (read, listen, or recite) it hundreds of times. The hours spent doing that are invaluable. Talk about spending time setting your mind on things above! 

Sometimes I would review it while exercising, taking a shower, or at night if I was having trouble falling asleep. 

If you need a way to help focus your mind and heart on eternal things, I highly recommend memorizing Scripture! It’s time well spent! 

Pray

Another great way to set your mind on things above is to pray. Prayer is both talking to God, along with listening to His voice. There are hundreds of verses in Scripture that talk about prayer. 

One of my favorites is Philippians 4:6-7-”Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (ESV)

I love the idea of God’s peace guarding our hearts and minds in Christ. By being disciplined to pray more, we are helping to guard our hearts and minds in Christ with God’s peace. 

Let’s get to praying! 

Social Media Fast

I highly recommend this one! 

Setting your mind on things above means being intentional about putting good, helpful, encouraging truths in your mind and heart. 

Social media can definitely be a catalyst for many negative thoughts and emotions. 

I’ve found that it’s so easy when things are hard to want to “check out” of reality and spend mindless time scrolling through my newsfeed. But is it really mindless? It’s not! Oftentimes, at least for me, when I’m done scrolling through my newsfeed I can end up feeling more irritated than when I started. 

Why is this true? Because I’ve spent so much time looking at other people and coveting what they have, and it’s just produced discontentment in my heart. 

A poor use of my time! 

There have been seasons in my life where I had to take an extended social media fast, the longest being 11 months. We were going through a rough time financially, living with inlaws, while also navigating infertility. I just couldn’t handle all of the pregnancy announcements, family photos, and vacation pictures. It made me so mad! 

The 11 months I spent off of social media allowed me time to declutter my mind and heart. It was very therapeutic. I would recommend this practice to anyone! 

I do use social media now, but have to be careful how much I’m on it. I still need healthy boundaries and can fall into the “scrolling pit” at times. 

Put Off/Put On

In the New Testament, in Ephesians 4, the apostle Paul speaks of putting off the old self (before you knew Christ) and putting on the new self (once you are saved). This helps paint a picture in our minds of taking off old sinful habits like lying, complaining, selfishness, hatred, etc and putting on new godly habits like thankfulness, self-control, obedience, and holiness. 

I had a Bible study leader tell my class that we had better make sure to remember to clothe ourselves with the new self because we can’t be a bunch of naked Christians running around everywhere! Hilarious. It was a great way to help us, as college women, to remember the importance of putting off our foolish ways and putting on the wisdom that comes with walking in faithful obedience to Christ. 

If we are striving to set our minds on things above, we need to make a habit of continually putting off our selfish, sinful ways and clothing ourselves with the fruits of the Spirit! 

Listen To Sermons, Podcasts, or Worship Music

Another great way to focus your heart and mind on things above is to spend time listening to sermons, podcasts, or worship music. Technology is so accessible these days, and there are more than enough opportunities to listen, focus, and learn! 

Here are some great times to listen to sermons, podcasts, or worship music: 

  • Cleaning the house
  • Folding laundry
  • Cooking
  • Before bed
  • Driving 
  • Exercising
  • Showering
  • Getting ready in the morning

A lot of these things are done every day, so take one of these tasks, like getting ready in the morning, and try to incorporate some worship music or a quick podcast. You’ll be starting your day with a focused mind and heart and have something encouraging to “chew on” throughout the day! 

Here are a few of my favorite podcasts that I’ve discovered!

  • Whoa That’s Good Podcast with Sadie Robertson Huff
  • Courageous Parenting
  • Risen Motherhood
  • Parenting with Ginger Hubbard
  • Focus on the Family Parenting Podcast
  • Glorious in the Mundane with Christy Knockels
  • The Hope We Hold with Ginger and Jeremy Vuolo
  • The Happy Hour with Jamie Ivey

practical tips for how to set your mind on things above

Let’s Wrap It Up! 

Thanks for hanging with me through this post! If you’ve made it this far, you really care about setting your mind on things above. That’s AMAZING! 

Remember, setting your mind on things above is something that we have to actively pursue on a daily basis. It’s not something that will just happen. We have to be intentional! 

Try and incorporate one thing you can do each day to set your mind on things above. Maybe this week you can start with listening to a podcast when you’re getting ready in the morning. If that doesn’t work for you, maybe you can try memorizing a couple of verses and practicing them each day. 

No matter what you choose, just take the next step and enjoy the fruits of setting your mind on things above! 

May the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:7, ESV)

Lots of love to each of you!

Lisa

“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.” ~Romans 15:13, ESV

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Meet the Author

Lisa JohnsonLisa is a former kindergarten teacher turned homeschool mom and blogger. When she’s not teaching or writing, she enjoys being outdoors with her family, cooking, and making iced americanos. She lives just outside of Chicago with her husband and daughter. If you want to read more about her take on parenting and life through a lens of faith, visit her blog at Thank Goodness its Recess.