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5 Practical Ways to Set Your Mind on the Things above Every Day

Whitney Hopler

Crosswalk.com Contributing Writer
Published Apr 08, 2024
5 Practical Ways to Set Your Mind on the Things above Every Day

In Colossians 3:2, the Bible calls you to: “Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.” Yet, in the stress of daily life, it’s easy to get caught up in worldly concerns that distract you from what has eternal value. How can you practically set your mind on the things above each day?

Several key practices can help you develop a heavenly mindset focused on what truly matters most. Setting your mind on things above is vital for your spiritual growth and well-being. Let’s explore five practical ways to set your mind on the things above every day.

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man praying over open Bible on table in the morning, judge not that you be judged meaning

1. Start Your Day with Spiritual Practices That Connect You with God

Begin your day by immersing yourself in God’s truth (reading the Bible) and communicating with God (prayer and meditation). James 4:8 encourages you to: “Come near to God, and he will come near to you.”

By starting your day in communion with God, you align your heart and mind with God’s purposes, setting your mindset for the day ahead. In the quiet moments of the morning, before the noise of the day distracts you, take time to sit at the feet of your Heavenly Father.

Open your Bible and let the words of Scripture wash over you, filling your mind with truth and wisdom. Ask the Holy Spirit to speak to your heart through the verses you read, illuminating the path you are called to walk.

As you meditate on God’s Word, invite him into your thoughts and emotions through prayer. Share your joys, concerns, and desires with God, knowing that he listens attentively to every word you speak.

Confess and repent of your sins — especially the sins that Colossians chapter 3 mentions as the “earthly things” that interfere with focusing on “the things above,” such as sexual immorality, lust, greed, rage, malice, slander, and lying.

Ask for help developing a mindset that focuses on the values that Colossians chapter 3 mentions, such as compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience, forgiveness, and love.

Starting your day with spiritual practices helps you notice God’s presence with you, which will give you strength for the entire day ahead of you.

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Woman sitting on a suitcase

2. Reflect on Eternity

Develop a mindset where you regularly consider what matters most from an eternal perspective. When you catch yourself getting caught up in the temporary concerns and distractions of this world, intentionally shift your perspective to reflect on the promises of God about your future inheritance in heaven.

Jesus assures you in John 14:2: “There are many rooms in my Father’s house. I wouldn't tell you this, unless it was true. I am going there to prepare a place for each of you.” As you reflect on the reality of your eternal home in heaven, you can find comfort and confidence in the middle of life’s uncertainties.

You can also maintain an eternal perspective on your current circumstances. The Bible assures you in 2 Corinthians 4:17-18: “For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.”

This perspective empowers you to endure challenges with patience and hope, knowing that your faithfulness will be rewarded in eternity.

Reflecting on eternity can also help you become more aware of God’s presence with you every day because it trains your mind to continually turn toward God and his eternal kingdom, and connect that to your daily activities.

As you reflect on eternity, you can live with purpose in the present, doing what has eternal value.

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man with hand over his heart, gratitude bible verses

3. Practice Gratitude

Make a habit of thanking God for the many blessings he is constantly pouring into your life. The Bible encourages you in 1 Thessalonians 5:18 to “give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” Practicing gratitude shifts your focus from what you lack to what you have been given.

That helps you focus on the things above because it motivates you to pay attention to God’s provision for you and deepens your connection with God. One powerful way to develop a grateful heart is by intentionally noticing and appreciating the wonder of God’s work in your life and in the world around you.

So, prioritize the pursuit of wonder every day. The more you look for God’s wonder, the more you’ll find it, since God promises to be found by those who wholeheartedly seek him. He says in Jeremiah 29:13: “You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.”

Every day, you can discover all sorts of ways that God has blessed you personally. Consider the relationships, opportunities, and more that God has given you. Consider keeping a gratitude journal where you list specific blessings or a prayer journal where you can see over time how God has answered your prayers.

James 1:17 reminds you: “Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.” When you’re going through hard times, choose to see God’s faithful presence and provision even in the middle of challenging circumstances.

By developing a grateful heart that appreciates the wonder of God’s work, you align yourself with God’s will, which keeps your mind focused on the things above.

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4. Engage in Daily Worship

Receive the gift of each day from God by living every day with a mindset of worship. As you go through your day, think of God’s constant presence with you, and return God’s love by drawing near to him.

James 4:6 promises: “Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.” Worship God by prioritizing holiness and centering your activities around your relationship with God.

Worship elevates your perspective, helping you set your mind on things above by reminding you of God’s wonderful majesty. Engaging in worship will lead your mind to awe and adoration toward your Creator.

Reflect on God’s attributes and character — such as his mercy, love, and power. As you contemplate the greatness of God, you will find your fears diminishing in light of his majesty. Aim to follow the Bible’s advice in Hebrews 12:2: “fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith…”.

Surrender fully to God’s will for every aspect of your life by relinquishing control and yielding to God’s plans for you. Choose to trust God completely. That kind of worship welcomes God’s power to flow through your life.

Celebrate God and his love for you every day by enjoying worship music during your prayer times, as well. The more you worship, the more your mind will be set on the things above.

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Hands held upward in worship on Bibles

5. Seek Fellowship with Believers

Surround yourself with fellow believers who can encourage you in your faith journey and strengthen your ability to set your mind on things above. Hebrews 10:24-25 urges you: “And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another…”.

Community strengthens your faith and helps us keep your mind focused on heavenly realities. Seeking fellowship with fellow believers is not just a suggestion but a biblical command. God designed us to live in community — to support and encourage each other in our walk of faith.

When you gather with other believers, you have the opportunity to share all of your experiences — struggles and triumphs alike — and to offer each other mutual encouragement and accountability. In the fellowship of believers, you can find all sorts of opportunities for spiritual growth and discipleship.

Proverbs 27:17 points out: “As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.” By enjoying meaningful conversations, studying the Bible together, praying together, and working on service projects for your church and community, you can help each other set your minds on the things above.

Fellowship with other believers also promotes the unity in diversity that God desires in his people. When you come together with fellow believers — regardless of your differences — you demonstrate true love to the world.

Your unity with other believers also reflects the unity of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit and testifies to the transforming power of the gospel. In today’s individualistic society, it's easy to prioritize personal pursuits over community involvement.

However, neglecting fellowship with other believers can lead to spiritual stagnation and isolation. So, prioritize Christian fellowship as an essential aspect of your spiritual well-being. Galatians 5:13 urges: “… serve one another humbly in love.”

Serving others redirects your attention away from yourself and toward the needs of those around you, aligning your heart with God’s loving purposes. So, look for opportunities to serve others with kindness.

By seeking community with fellow believers, you can strengthen your faith and keep your mind focused on the things above.

Setting your mind on the things above is not a one-time event, but a daily discipline that requires intentionality and commitment.

By incorporating these practices into your daily life, you can develop a mindset that is focused on what has eternal value. That will inspire you day by day, and you’ll be motivated to continue focusing your mind on what matters most from God’s perspective.

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headshot of author Whitney HoplerWhitney Hopler is the author of the Wake Up to Wonder book and the Wake Up to Wonder blog, which help people thrive through experiencing awe. She leads the communications work at George Mason University’s Center for the Advancement of Well-Being. Whitney has served as a writer, editor, and website developer for leading media organizations, including Crosswalk.com, The Salvation Army USA’s national publications, and Dotdash.com (where she produced a popular channel on angels and miracles). She has also written the young adult novel Dream Factory. Connect with Whitney on X/Twitter and on Facebook

Originally published Thursday, 11 April 2024.