"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" -Colossians 3:1-2
The Apostle Paul tells us that we are to set our minds on heavenly things and to pursue the agenda of the Kingdom. As followers of Jesus we are told to think about "whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable--if anything is excellent or praiseworthy" (Philippians 4:8). However, many of us allow our minds to focus on the temporary things of life, which distract us from focusing on the things that actually matter. This distraction is many times welcomed in our lives because it keeps us from examining the meaning of our lives. The old adage is: "Ignorance is bliss." We allow the tyranny of the mundane to keep us from pursuing heavenly excellence.
We keep ourselves from really thinking too deeply about the meaning of life and the meaning of existence; in dealing with the low hanging fruit in our lives, we hope to avoid addressing the questions that really matter about our existence. We allow the tyranny of the mundane to keep us from recognizing the truth in and for our lives. It is only when we are confronted with truth that we are able to be free (John 8:32). But with truth and freedom comes responsibility. We choose ignorance in an attempt to abdicate responsibility, but willful ignorance comes at a high cost. To avoid the truth is to deny it.
Without meaning, we are without purpose, and without purpose, we have no idea if our lives are off course. Generally, it is when we are facing a challenge to existence (life/death) that we finally begin to think about such matters. However, at this point, it is really too late to question the meaning of existence because we have already allowed a meaningful life to slip past us.
We do not like to think and so we welcome distraction. Our aversion toward thinking is rooted primarily in two things: laziness and fear. Thinking involves work--and most of us would rather leave that to others. But thinking also brings about fear because we realize how much we do not know. We have a desire for stability in the things that we do know. However, that security begins to weaken in the light of the impressive expanse of the things that we do not know. Rather than embracing the unknown, we cleave to our small worlds of what is "known." All too often, we are like those chained to the wall in Plato's "Allegory of the Den."
Real knowledge, coupled with wisdom, will humble us. This humility drives us to our knees in the sight of a God who knows it all. Humility is a stark contrast from the boasts of this world, which seems to believe that it has everything figured out. When I think of the depth of what I do not know, it drives to seek out the ONE who does know it all. I do not need to have it figured out if I stick with the one who does. He leads us into all truth (John 16:33), but we must first seek Him (Matthew 6:33) with all of our heart AND mind.
Dr. Rob Weinstein is the Founding/Senior Pastor of Bethany Grace Community Church in Bridgeton, NJ. He is also a Professor of Business Studies/Academic Director/Chair of Human Resource Management Studies. He is the Founder of the M25 Initiative, a nonprofit dedicated to ending homelessness and food insecurity in Cumberland County, NJ.
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