Scott Bryant

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Mind Over Matter

We’ve all heard the phrase, “Mind over matter”. It’s often used to encourage someone to take their focus off the pain being caused by some physical challenge and push forward as they refocus their mind on something else. I’d like to wash this phrase in the Word of God and let Colossians 3 bring it to a whole new level.

In fact, here are three words for your journey today that truly give us the courage to live a life that is even capable of having a “mind over matter” outlook in our 21st century life.

#1: SET

This first word is found in verse 2:

“Set your mind on things above, not on earthly things.”

In the Greek, the word is zēteite and means “to seek or strive for earnestly”. Here’s what’s interesting. There isn’t a one of us who doesn’t naturally do this. We all strive earnestly for what we desire most. That’s the problem. By nature, what we desire most is sin. We want to find something on earth to fulfill our deepest desires. To be loved. To be respected. To belong. Desires that are only going to be met in Jesus Christ, but our culture tells us otherwise. And it does so continuously.

Our media-saturated society has enabled us to earnestly strive for our greatest desires in epic proportions. Not only can we push a button and satisfy our flesh, we can promote our flesh. We’ve all watched the little toddler who does something funny or cute and then receives the applause or laughter of everyone in the room. What does he do next? He looks around and sees that his behavior was appreciated, so he does it again. Today we have generations doing exactly this. We have set our mind on receiving the applause of our world, and we keep on performing or practicing whatever will receive it.

Our young people are taught that performing well on the athletic field or on the public stage is what truly matters. They watch us snap pictures of them and post them with great joy for the world to see. And while there is nothing wrong with scoring a touchdown, or singing a solo at the school concert, the question is whether they are being taught that earthly achievement is not what we are called to prioritize as followers of Christ. They are watching their parents, their grandparents, to see how to live a life of “mind over matter”. Not just pushing through the pain to gain new muscles, trophies, or awards. They need to see in our daily journey that we are willing to SET our minds on things above. To prioritize the eternal over the earthly. Or better yet, letting our “MINDSET” on the Eternal radically change how we live in the earthly.

Every decision of our practical life should be evidence that we are earnestly striving to “Set our mind on things above.” To pursue our love for Christ over the applause of our culture.

#2: GET

Since I grew up in the Midwest, I tend to pronounce this word, “Git”. But no matter how you say it, this word represents our next ruthless challenge. If our first goal is to “Set our mind on things above”, the next and continual challenge will be to “Get rid of things below.” Things that naturally creep in and become our life.  We find this in verse 5 where Paul says:

“Put to death whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry.”

And then in verse 8:

“But now you must rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips.”

It’s not by coincidence that these are explicit lists that accurately portray many of the things we naturally set our mind and life on in our generation today. Turns out no matter whether you are living in the 1st century culture or the 21st century, our human hearts are easily deceived by the same card tricks that the devil plays in every generation.

The saint isn’t perfect but is committed to the journey of perfection. A journey that is only possible by God’s Grace. The next generation already knows that we aren’t perfect. The closer they are to us, the more they know just how human we are. They need to see us be willing to “Get rid of things below” on a regular basis. To confess our sin when it enters in. To repent of our rebellious habits that come out in our words and actions. They are watching not for perfection, but for lives that are willing to SET, GET, and last but not least…

#3: LET

The power of God’s Word is ready to permeate our life to truly have a “mind over matter” perspective, but we can choose to keep it out. To settle for the earthly things that feel good for a few days, months, or even years. We must choose to “Let the peace and Word of Christ rule in our hearts.

We read these powerful words in verses 15-17:

“Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God.”

Our world hungers for peace. Peace in our homes. Peace in our community. World peace where we all just get along. But contrary to many bumper stickers, mankind is incapable of popular words like: “Co-Exist” or “Be-Kind or “World Peace” until we submit to the Prince of Peace. To come under His rule and demonstrate it with speech that is marked by thankfulness to Him. This only happens as we have God’s Word saturating our minds in a world that is trying to boil our brains in false teaching. Teaching that places man at the center of the universe, instead of the One True God.

As we let our mind be invaded by His Kingdom, our mindset will begin to focus on what matters. And it isn’t matter. It’s Eternal. 

Augustine once said, “No one longs for eternal, incorruptible, and immortal life, unless he be wearied of this temporal, corruptible, and mortal life”.

Are you there yet? Are you tired of focusing your mind on what the world says matters? Then let today begin a new season where you commit to life a life of “mind over matter” as you SET- GET- LET:

#1:  Set your mind on things above!

#2:  Get rid of things below!

#3:  Let the peace and Word of Christ rule in your heart!

As the church of Jesus Christ commits to this type of “mind over matter” living, we will unveil to our world what a face, a family, a church looks like that is committed to revealing God’s Glory to the world, instead of our own.

“And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.” 2 Corinthians 3:18