What to do about Your Divided Heart and Mind?


As we face the end of one year and the beginning of another, we are sure to encounter calls for resolutions for the upcoming year. Perhaps, you will vow to lose weight and get into better shape. Some will promise to reduce their debt or absolve it completely. Others may become resolute in improving personal relationships.

In Colossians 3, the Apostle Paul addressed a resolution with the Colossians regarding their personal relationship with Jesus Christ, the risen Savior. Paul provided instructions on What to do about Your Divided Heart and Mind? His proposition reminds me of basic computer programming language. According to Oracle, the if-then statement is the most basic of all control flow statements. It tells your program to execute a certain section of code only if a particular test evaluates to true. I also remember if-then statements from Geometry. Let’s take an example shared on Mathplanet.com. If you get good grades then you will get into a good college. We know that the part after the “if”: you get good grades – is called a hypotheses and the part after the “then” – you will get into a good college – is called a conclusion. Hypotheses followed by a conclusion is called an If-then statement or a conditional statement. A conditional statement is false if hypothesis is true and the conclusion is false. The example above would be false if it said “if you get good grades then you will not get into a good college”.

In Colossians 3, Paul uses an if-then proposition regarding the Colossians trust in Christ as Savior and Lord.

Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory. Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry. Because of these, the wrath of God is coming. You used to walk in these ways, in the life you once lived. But now you must also rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips. Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices 10 and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator. 11 Here there is no Gentile or Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave or free, but Christ is all, and is in all.

The proposition is that the Colossians, or any believer, has been raised with Christ certain actions are required. Matthew Henry describes it as “It is our privilege that we have risen with Christ; that is, have benefit by the resurrection of Christ, and by virtue of our union and communion with him are justified and sanctified, and shall be glorified. Hence he infers that we must seek those things which are above. We must mind the concerns of another world more than the concerns of this. We must make heaven our scope and aim, seek the favour of God above,”

Paul is saying if you have surrendered your life to Christ or have been raised with Christ, then you will set your hearts and minds on the things above not on earthly things. There are certain behaviors that are requisite of you as one who has been raised with Christ. In verse 2, Paul explains the duty. In verses 5 & 8, he shares what and how to maintain behavior requisite of the follower of Christ.  He sharing  What to do about Your Divided Heart and Mind?

Remember, a conditional statement is false if hypothesis is true and the conclusion is false. In this case since/if you have been raised with Christ, then, set your hearts on things above, and set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. Paul is saying that if we are focused on earthly things as outlined in the text as well as how to get rich, how to gratify the desires of our flesh, then we are not who we claim to be. He gives us the road map on What to do about Your Divided Heart and Mind?

I don’t have to ask if your heart is divided. You are human; thus, we are subject to living for self. Romans 8:5 speaks of our dilemma. Romans 8:5 says, “Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires.” To undivide our hearts and minds, we must set them on the things above.

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