This post is an excerpt from the Transforming Your Thought Life: Christian Meditation in Focus
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Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. (Colossians 3:2 NIV)
As I write this devotion, we are in the thick of election season in the United States. Tensions are running high. People are frustrated, upset, anxious, and angry. Opinions fly wildly on social media. Both sides blame each other. No one knows what the future holds, or when the definitive declaration of the winner will be announced. If you focus on the headlines, your anxiety is sure to rise. Negativity runs rampant in the news.
But the headlines don’t have to dictate your thoughts.
In this challenging time, we have many choices. Not only choices about how to cast our votes, but choices about our thoughts, words, and actions.
Focus on Things Above
I wrote a book about using Christian meditation to transform your thought life. One of the best verses to meditate on in this challenging season is Colossians 3:2:
Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.
When we choose a heavenly mindset, rather than an earth-focused mindset, we have the peace that transcends all understanding (Phil. 4:7), the kind of peace that only God can give (John 14:27). Peace that can defeat the anxiety stirred up by the headlines.
You can choose self-control instead of anger, joy instead of negativity, and goodness instead of selfishness. Love instead of hate. Gentleness instead of harshness. These are all gifts the Holy Spirit provides us (Gal. 5:22-23), and we must choose to focus on them in this season.
Don’t Focus on Earthy Things
Our enemy Satan would love nothing more than for you to set your mind on earthly things. After all, he is the prince of this world (John 12:31) who will one day be defeated. For now, he’s working as hard as he can to wreak havoc on the earth and in your thought life. He’s even using the headlines to do his dirty work.
You can fight back with the power of Scripture, just as Jesus did when he was tempted. You can rebuke the devil, saying, “Get behind me, Satan. Today I’m setting my mind on things above with God’s help, rather than on earthly things.” This intentional stance against the prince of the world will diminish his power in your thought life.
A Call to Prayer
Next time you read the headlines, consider them a call to prayer instead of an anxiety trigger. Praise God for his sovereignty over our world. His perfect control exercised from his throne in heaven, where Jesus sits at the right hand of the Father.
Study the verses surrounding our theme verse for today. Let your thoughts rise to heaven, where your real life is hidden with Christ (Col. 3:3). May your prayers over the topics in the headlines be a sweet offering to the Lord.
As you surrender your anxiety, negativity, harshness, and other sins over to God, he will pour out spiritual blessings on you. Receive these blessings gladly and share them with others. In this way, you’ll spread God’s heavenly kingdom here on earth. You’ll have the peaceful mindset of a heaven-focused person, rather than an anxious earth-focused mindset.