Colossians 3:2 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Colossians 3:2, NIV: Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.

Colossians 3:2, ESV: Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth.

Colossians 3:2, KJV: Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.

Colossians 3:2, NASB: Set your minds on the things that are above, not on the things that are on earth.

Colossians 3:2, NLT: Think about the things of heaven, not the things of earth.

Colossians 3:2, CSB: Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.

What does Colossians 3:2 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Repeating the theme of verse 1, Paul reminds the believers at Colossae to keep their minds on godly, spiritual things. This is meant for those who have accepted Christ, and received Him as their Savior. Rather than looking to the earth around them, the minds of Christians should be focused "above." The things "above" are the things of God. God is often noted as being "above" in the New Testament (John 3:31; 8:23; Ephesians 4:10) and heaven is described as "above" (James 1:17).

In this context, the "things of the earth" are associated with ungodly activities. For example, James 3:15 notes a false approach which "is not the wisdom that comes down from above, but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic." In contrast, the "wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere" (James 3:17). This does not meant that believers should ignore all earthly concerns. It does, however, mean that believers ought to give their time and attention to things pleasing to God, rather than things pleasing to men.