For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit. For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace.
Many people are very careful about what they eat. We are careful to make sure we eat our fruits and vegetables. We are careful about how much fat and how many carbohydrates we eat. In the same way, we should be careful about what we eat, but on a spiritual plane. With what kinds of things are we saturating our minds? What kinds of junk food are we allowing into our homes and minds via television, books, and the internet?
Paul urges us in his letter to the Colossians to be mindful of our mindset. “If then you have been raised with Christ, … Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.” 1
Have we been raised with Christ? Yes! So what are we to do? Set our minds on the the things of God. Not that we shouldn’t be concerned with day-to-day affairs, but that our mindset would be one that reflects God’s glory. I don’t want to make lists of movies, books, or websites that we can or can’t watch, read, or visit. Our motive is not to increase morality. It is not to try to appease God’s anger at our sin by saying “I don’t watch R-rated movies.” We don’t gain any favor with God by keeping lists of rules. The Pharisees tried that and Jesus spoke most vehemently against their ways. Our goal is to reflect to others the glory and grace of our Lord to those who have not seen or known him.
The only way to reflect God’s glory is to saturate our minds with the things that do. “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, … honorable, … just, … pure, … lovely, … commendable, [excellent, or praiseworthy], think about these things.” 2 Is that movie we want to go see really excellent and praiseworthy? How about that latest bestseller we see on the shelves at the bookstore? Is it pure and lovely? The blogs we like to read—are they true and honorable or do they defame others with lies? We shouldn’t shelter ourselves from these things, 3 but we should always be on our guard.