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When Paul calls us to set our minds on things above, and not on the things of earth, it can feel unloving and unnatural. Isn’t a heavenly-minded posture simply the privilege of those with the resources to avoid worry about health, provision, and safety? Isn’t it counterproductive to call for deeper heavenly-mindedness when dealing with situations of want, oppression, trauma, or even abuse? Does such thinking perpetuate abuse? Is it the case that heavenly-mindedness is of no earthly good?
It’s important for Christians to think through these questions. We image God when we are concerned for the earthly welfare of our neighbors, so it’s important to understand how the Bible’s call to heavenly-mindedness fits with that concern.
Briefly - Questions - Practice - Stifle - Activism
I want to reflect briefly on two questions: first, is heavenly-mindedness a practice of the privileged? And, second, does heavenly-mindedness stifle activism and sustain the status quo?
Is Heavenly-Mindedness for the Privileged?
Bible - Attention - Topics - Heavenly-mindedness - Everyone
When we read the Bible we should pay attention not only to what it says but also where and when it broaches topics. Heavenly-mindedness doesn’t come up when everyone is safe and happy; it comes up precisely when God’s people suffer the deepest pangs of hurt.
When Christians have been scattered far from home and face the threat of mistreatment or persecution, the apostle Peter reminds them of their “inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you” (1 Pet. 1:3–4). Peter calls their attention heavenward in a moment pregnant with danger and pain.
Heavenly-mindedness - Everyone - God - People - Pangs
Heavenly-mindedness doesn’t come up when everyone is safe and happy; it comes up precisely when God’s people suffer the deepest pangs of hurt.
Hebrews similarly points Christians heavenward in a situation of trauma and struggle. It seems as though some Christians were mistreated publicly—likely through imprisonment or other such civic penalties (10:32–33). The author encourages them to continue holding on to...
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