“Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth.” (Colossians 3:2)
When an athlete is experiencing a particularly good streak, she is often said to have “elevated her game.” Or sometimes we would say he has “taken it to the next level.”
Of course, the athlete in question is still on the same plane, feet on the same field as the rest of us, but we use the metaphor of elevation to describe something better. Higher is, generally speaking, better – at least when it comes to metaphors.
So it is with the verse from Colossians above, and the idea of God being “up there” somewhere above us. Of course we don’t really believe that God is “up” but we use the metaphor of “up” to describe and address God. How many of us have gazed upward at some point in order to lament, “Why me, Lord?”
God is all around, within and among, above and below and in between. “There Is No Place Where God Is Not,” reads the first line of a Charles Haddon Spurgeon poem. God is everywhere, not just “above” us. When this scripture calls us to look above in order to find Christ, I think it is using the real direction as a metaphor for “better.” Simply put, when we follow Jesus we are supposed to live better lives than when we do not.
And what does this “high life” look like? Paul paints a picture with words later in the chapter: compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, patience, forgiveness, and above all, LOVE! Love is the force that runs throughout the elevated life in Christ, that “binds everything together in perfect harmony.”
Elevate your game. Elevate your life. Seek that which is above, where Christ is.
This Sunday, we’re going to talk about Elevation.