Is Struggling A Sin?
I love God’s Word, church worship, a worn-out Bible, and a good devotional.
I ♥ fellowship, an encouraging chat, and a hug from a Sister-in-Christ.
Uplifting music, a sunny day, a reminder that every beautiful thing I see is a gift from God.
But often I feel like those happy moments where my mind is in the right place, are exceptional moments – a privileged hour, or a highlight. I don’t feel like I’m real good at keeping my mind SET on things above.
“Since then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is… Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth.” colossians 3:1-2
I know there is a reason God directs us this way. I know it’s a good idea. I know, I know, I know.
On the other hand, there are also piles of laundry, whiny children, lists of spelling words, messy living rooms, and complicated relationships.
There are expectations, pangs of envy, and defensive impulses.
I’m tempted to call these things distractions. But they have much more significance than that word implies.
They are marriages, parenting, and homemaking.
They are decision making, plans, and hopes.
They are friends, and family, and self-concept.
They are daily life.
God’s will for me is not to turn my back on my daily life and instead sit in my chair reading the Bible all day long. His will for me is not to hide from my family and friends to avoid conflict and confusion.
That’s not fulfilling the purpose I have here.
“Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.” colossians 3:12-14
God’s plan for me is to laugh and dance in the kitchen and do the laundry and make big decisions and make time for my husband. Confront my children, comfort my friends, and smile at a stranger. Slough off the fear and the judgment and try again.
He wants me to live.
Set your mind on things above.
In Colossians when Paul is advising his readers in this way, he has just finished telling them not to worry so much about the rules that people have made which are not what God is concerned with – “human tradition and the basic principles of this world.” We have been given fullness in Christ, which means we play by different rules now.
It means, the piles of laundry and blurting out what you were thinking and the reality of having to discipline your children… do not mean failure. Maybe according to the world, our daily life appears “less than.” But we play by God’s rules and these things are evidence that we are living our lives. And no question, they give us opportunity to learn and grow.
Especially if in the in-between-moments, we set our mind on things above.
Things like, I am saved by the blood of the Lamb and Satan’s lies can’t hurt me.
Things like, “When Christ who is my life appears,then I also will appear with Him in glory.” (colossians 3:4)
Things like, I’m a forgiven child of God, loved and held safely in His hand.
I get frustrated because my mind is not set on the things above as often as I would like it to be. And even when it is, it doesn’t equal automatic happy fuzzy feelings.
But I can find comfort in the fact that when I set my mind on Jesus, and confess my shortcomings, he lovingly forgives me. When I set my mind on Jesus, and consider the hope I have in Christ, the Spirit strengthens me. When I set my mind on Jesus, I know eternal life with Him means eternal life where my mind will be filled with the knowledge and comfort of Him forevermore.
Lord, set my mind on you as often as possible. And when my brain is crowding you out with the chaos of daily life, whisper your love to me. Call to me and strengthen me with the knowledge that we play by your mercy-filled, grace covered rules: the law of the Spirit of life.