When you set your mind and heart on things above – on JESUS’ value, of your future in HEAVEN – that act changes you, it gives you confidence, perspective. If you set your minds on things above – you learn to stress less about the little stuff. In fact it will drastically change every decision you make.
Colossians 3:1–11 (NIV)
3 Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. 2 Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. 3 For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. 4 When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory. 5 Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry. 6 Because of these, the wrath of God is coming. 7 You used to walk in these ways, in the life you once lived. 8 But now you must also rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips. 9 Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices 10 and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator. 11 Here there is no Gentile or Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave or free, but Christ is all, and is in all.
Paul introduces the eschatological [e.g. future/heaven/return of King JESUS] perspective, when he mentions the future participation of the revelation of Christ’s glory at the end times. The glory that one seeks in one’s private religious experiences through either heavenly ascent or the worship of heavenly beings is to be superseded by the public revelation of Christ’s glory, when all who have died and have been raised in him can find true fulfillment in this consummation of God’s work in Christ. [This] perspective is critical for appreciating a spirituality that is faithful to the gospel message. For believers, the death, resurrection, and return of Christ form the basis of any call to faithful living. – David W. Poa
You died with the Messiah; so you don’t belong in the old world any more, and regulations that are relevant there aren’t relevant for you. You were raised with the Messiah; so you possess a true life in God’s new world, the ‘upper’ or ‘heavenly’ world. That’s where the real ‘you’ is now to be found… One day God will flood the present creation with the new life which is currently hidden in the heavenly realm. One day Jesus the Messiah, who cannot at the moment be seen within the old world, will appear again—when God transforms the whole cosmos so that what is at present unseen will become visible, and earth and heaven be joined for ever in the fulfilled new creation. And when that happens, all those who are ‘in Christ’, whose present true life is ‘hidden with the king, in God’, will appear as well, as the glorious renewed human beings they already really are. Once you realize that, there appears before you the new way towards a genuine, fulfilling holiness. ‘If you were raised to life with the king, search for the things that are above!’ Learn to think about the things that are above, not the things that belong to the present world of change and decay. In fact, learning to think, rather than merely going with the flow of the world on the one hand, or blindly obeying what look like stringent regulations on the other, is part of the key to it all. One aspect of Christian maturity, and certainly one of the road signs on the surprising route to Christian holiness, is that the mind must grasp the truth: ‘you died, and your life has been hidden with the king, in God!’ Once the mind has grasped it, the heart and will may start to come on board. And once that happens the way lies open to joyful Christian holiness. Don’t settle for short cuts. – N.T. Wright
The Christian cannot move in and out of Christ’s lordship whenever it becomes convenient or inconvenient. Holy living is rarely convenient, and we should never forget the looming wrath of God, which brings certain punishment. Even when it seems that we have gotten away with our sin, it gestates within us. Consequently, Paul insists, our unethical behavior, which belongs to our old life, must be discarded like old rags or cut out like a cancerous tumor before it destroys us. We may wonder if this transformation is possible. Can we really put to death the earthly nature? We can see clear evidence of the opposite process, in which persons have put to death “compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.” Those who have interviewed convicted serial killers and child molesters have testified that something inside these men was dead. They were dead to love, dead to empathy, dead to compassion for their victims or their victim’s family. If it is possible for individuals to kill virtue in their lives, it must also be possible for individuals to kill such things as lust, evil desires, greed, anger, rage, malice, slander, and abusive language. We do not do it through our own will power, however. The power comes from our having been raised with Christ and from the one who raised him from the dead. The irresistible compulsion to sin is replaced by the irresistible power of God.
– David Garland