“Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.” (Colossians 3:2)
The command of this verse is contained in the Greek word phroneo. The noun form has an emphasis on the emotive side of our thoughts. Its use in secular Greek literature favors what we might call our gut reactions or our intuition. Obviously, the verb is recorded in the imperative mode, making the term both intensive and authoritative. It could well be translated “direct your reactions so that they respond to” heavenly matters.
The Lord Jesus rebuked Peter because he did not “savor” the things of God (Matthew 16:23). In many other places, the translators have chosen “mind” as the term’s best rendering (e.g., Philippians 2:2, 5; 3:15-16; 4:2). But in each case, the emphasis appears to be on the way we react to our relationship to God’s Word or to each other.
And in each case, as in our text for today, the emphasis is always for us to focus on the matters of eternity, not on our earthly circumstances. Paul’s great teaching throughout Romans 6, 7, and 8 gives a wonderful comparison and contrast between the flesh and the spirit, concluding in chapter 8 that “they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit” (Romans 8:5).
Insisting that the believers in the Philippian church follow his own life’s example, Paul agonizes over many among them who walk so “that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ: whose end is destruction, whose God is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame, who mind earthly things” (Philipians 3:18-19).
A worldly lifestyle is very dangerous for a believer. Please remember the warning “whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God” (James 4:4). HMM III