I have heard it said, “Well, he’s so heavenly-minded that he’s of no earthly good.” Now if we mean by that that a certain person always has his head in the clouds, well then I agree, but such a one would hardly merit the description of “heavenly-minded.” “Airhead” would be a better word. But “heavenly-minded” should be defined along the lines that Paul wrote about in the passage above. The Christian seeks first and foremost “the things that are above.” Indeed, he scorns earthly things for the heavenly. Why? Because he “has died and [his] life is hidden with Christ in God.”
This is such a beautiful passage of Scripture. Paul is describing the reality for the Christian. As baptized believers, we have died to sin and self. We seek not the things of this world. We must use them, of course, but all things for the believer are now oriented towards God. In other words, Christians love earthly things for God’s sake, or for God’s glory. And if I’m not loving something for God’s sake, then either it is something I shouldn’t have, or, if I do have it, I desperately need to repent and love it as I should – for God’s sake, His glory, His purposes, and as He would love them. This is even true of the people we love. Ultimately, I must love everyone (spouse, children, friends, enemies) for God’s sake if I am to love them rightly. Otherwise, my loves will be disordered. I will either love someone or something for my sake, which is selfish and makes me a master to that which I love wrongly, or I will love that someone or something for his/her/its sake, which is idolatry and makes me a slave to that which I love wrongly.
So I must love things for God’s sake – His will, purposes, and ways. And how do I do that? By being heavenly-minded. And how do I do that? Paul spells it out very clearly. He tells us what to put to death in ourselves, which are all those sinful desires that cause us to see people and things as mere objects of our delight. He then calls us to live according to the heavenly life “seeing that [we] have put off the old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its Creator.” In other words, now that we have been born again of the Spirit of God, let us live according to God’s holy will exercising compassion, humility, meekness, patience, forgiveness, and love towards one another. In doing so, we love people for God’s sake. Such a heavenly-minded person is of quite a bit of earthly good. May we be so heavenly-minded ourselves that we may be of some earthly good as well.