Colossians 3:2 says “Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.”
So what is an “affection,” and how do we “set” it? “Set” means “to cause to sit, put in some place, fix firmly,” and has the idea of attaching something securely to an object. “Affection,” now that word is a little bit more tricky than what we think at face value. Often, we hear of someone having affection for someone else, and we think of ooey-gooey passionate feelings. Affection although used in this context often, is not truly understanding the meaning of the word “affection.” “Affection” has, at it’s root, the word “affect.” This means “to cause an effect, to make a change.” “Affections” are thence the things that cause us to do something or be a certain way. It has a little to do with our emotions, but not fully. Rather it deals very much with the broader scope of the things that “affect” our decisions and our actions. Although this can be our emotions, many times the things that truly affect us are the facts. The reason I don’t jump off of skyscrapers isn’t really because of my emotions, rather it is because I know the fact of gravity will mean that when I jump, I will splatter on the ground below. The thing that affects my decision to not jump, isn’t as much my emotions as the facts. So how then do we “set our affections on things above?” We can do this by “fixing securely” our minds and our hearts on the deep things of heaven (the “above”) and of our God, and allowing those facts to determine our attitudes and our actions in life. It is to set our minds in such a way that what truly affects us is the truth of “above”, and not just the circumstantial transience that we interact with on a daily basis around us. Ultimately, we set our affections when we intentionally view God, not circumstances or emotions, as our guide and strength, and that in any situation He is in control, meaning that in those circumstances we will react in a mindset of trust and reliance on Him.
Food For Thought: What does “set your affections on things above mean?” How can we do this?