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What it Really Means to Set your Affection on Things Above

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

In Colossians 3:2, the words “set your affection on things above” means to place your mind and thoughts on them, to show favor towards them, and to be affectionately desirous of them.

For example, because I have affection toward my family, my thoughts are occupied with them as well.

What kind of things consume your thoughts?  If you deeply ponder the answer, you’ll know where your real affections lie.  Your affections as a wife will probably be towards your husband.  Your affections as a mother will probably be towards your children.  Your affections as a daughter will probably be towards your parents and grandparents.

It’s a good thing to love our family and friends, but beyond our loved ones, what consumes our minds most of the time?

Today, the world has many things that consume their minds…

  • Money
  • Electronics
  • Food
  • Entertainment
  • TV Programs
  • Travel
  • Clothing
  • Shoes
  • Purses
  • Hair, Makeup, Beauty
  • Sports

and more..

None of these earthly things will we get to take with us to Heaven. We are certainly to enjoy the life that God’s granted us here on earth, but without setting our affections on things above, our mind, thoughts and actions will only be on the temporary things. Setting our affections on the “here and now” of what we can get out of life will profit us NOTHING in our future in Heaven.

What are the things above?

Our Heavenly Father; our Savior, Jesus Christ

Our eternal home

Our Christian loved ones, who have passed on before us.

A place of no pain, suffering, sorrow, nor tears

A place of rest and peace

A place without sin and evil

Are you beginning to see my point? 

When we start to set our affections on things above, the “here and now” hardships aren’t so dreadful… the “here and now” becomes more “temporary” in our minds.

The suffering, the sorrow, the pain, the tears… they’re temporary.

Our goals are no longer to work more for here on earth, but to please our Heavenly Father above.

Your affection as a child of God should be on things above… things eternal.  These are the things that will bring you the true joy that you seek in life.

God bless you and your family,



  • Katherine Foran

    Ok fair enough but does that mean it’s wrong for earthly things to bring us joy as well? 🙁 I mean let’s face it we women can’t help liking makeup & things that smell nice etc. I’m starting to feel like the bible is a bit of a buzz kill to be honest. 🙁

    • herChristianHome

      Katherine, that’s a good question. Thank you for stopping by to read my devotional. God created this earth for us to enjoy… there’s soooo much to enjoy!! Women especially like beautiful things… I love hair, makeup and perfume as well. I think what we need to do is enjoy things within moderation and a good balance. Many things could easily become our “idol” if we put them before God. What I invest my time and energy in the most will become where my heart’s affection and desires are most focused. There’s nothing wrong with enjoying art, such as painting a picture, but if I start to put that before reading my Bible, praying and attending the house of God then my affections are more set on the things of the world rather than on Heavenly things. The things the Bible tells us NOT to do are so that we can enjoy life MORE and not reap the harsh consequences from sin, which will rob us of joy and peace in our lives.

      • Soore Olaoye

        What a detailed response.
        I’m currently studying and I will definitely note this in my journal. It will help when answering similar questions. Amazing!! Bless you

  • Uju Okeke

    If we have surrendered our heart to God, He controls it and directs us where and how to spend our time. It is God that works in us both to will and do His good pleasure. All we need to do is surrender completely to him and he will release his help to enable us serve him well.

  • jacob elechi

    i so much like this, it’s clear to me that i was totaly wrong, may GOD help me. pray for me pls to have a total change of heart.

  • Cristina

    Oooo, this is so good! Even though this post is from 2016, it’s timely now in 2020 (perhaps even more so). Thank you for your boldness to speak on matters of truth, including the sin of idolatry! I constantly have to check my heart, being very cautious not to focus on things of the world more than things of the Kingdom. There is a regular tug-of-war, but God’s pull is stronger!

  • Diana

    Praise the lord , this is a wonderful devotion, set affection on heavenly things bring about great joy, peace satisfaction, love ❤️ cuz many people don’t take out the time to research the richness of our Lord to comprehend things that are above, like me God had to deal with my heart , cuz I didn’t take time out focus on what that scripture was saying to me. Thank God for relation to his word . Have a bless day!!

  • rebyor

    How can we set our affections on things we have never experienced. On things that have never brought us any happiness and which remain out of reach “above”? How do they make here and now any easier? Constantly longing for and hoping for that which remains out of reach is misery and prayer, bible reading and church only point back to that which is out of reach. Help!

    • herChristianHome

      Rebyor, a good example from Luke 18:24-27, shares how difficult it is for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God because he cannot understand his own need for God; he is so self-reliant and caught up into the world of his own wealth and surroundings. But Jesus said, “The things which are impossible with men are possible with God.” After accepting Jesus as your personal Saviour, the Holy Spirit can open your spiritual insight. Diving into God’s Word will reveal much to you and I that our carnal flesh cannot fully understand. Even, so, we cannot fully comprehend how glorious things are above, but we can certainly set our full hope and sights on pleasing God while we enjoy the earth He has created for us to live on.

  • Betty

    I just tapped into your website a moment ago and I read the comments listed there. thank you so much. When we know what God expects and requires of us, it makes it so much easier to obey and conform our ways to His own. When you want God to order your steps in everything that you do, You can not get enough of the advice and instruction of how to live a godly life. Thank you again and God bless you.

  • Joann Quinley

    The lord reminded me of that scripture this morning because I was consumed with something that’s impossible for me but not with God. His timing is not mine, though I long to to see it happen. I definitely have to surrender my part and leave it to God to do. If I must multiple times a day keep giving it back the lord, I will be victorious eventually, and have a peace that passes all understanding. God is in control and I will in Jesus name set my affections on things above and not on this earth where. Hallelujah amen amen!

    • herChristianHome

      Joann, you are so right… we have to surrender and let God do His work…and I, too, have found that I must keep giving back to God multiple times as I pick that burden back up. With God, it is indeed possible! Amen!

  • Rebyor

    Things above may be eternal but they are not available now. How can I have more peace and joy by setting my affections on that Wich remains out of reach. Things that I have never experienced. Things that have never brought me a single moment of happiness.? i find no joy or love or happiness in any of this because it always seems out of reach. How can I desire or delight in or have affection for that Wich I have never experienced?
    Please help

  • Shaneille

    Hello Rhonda, God is not a man that he should lie! Jesus said He is going to prepare a place for us and if He goes then He’ll come again to receive us unto himself. The Bible says the sadness and trials we experience here on earth cannot compare to what God has planned for us. We just need to abide in Him and He’ll abide in us. Stay in His word, pray without ceasing and He will sustain us. Its ok to have doubts, God knows we’re human. We however need to approach God with honesty, He understands our heart more than we do. Tell Him about your concerns, your insecurities, and your desires. Lean on Him, let Him know you’re depending on Him for everything and He will direct your path.

  • Christine Bronwen Stone

    I especially like verse 6 of 1 Timothy reading ..Godliness with contentment is of great gain.

    Contentment today is hard to find so we must put on this wonderful verse as our armor of God to fight against the entrapments of discontent. Main line news keeps telling us all the bad news. The Bible tells us of the good news in Christ. When our meditation is on the Lord we will find peace. Isaiah 26:3 He/she whose mind is kept on Him will have perfect peace. oh to find Peace today, what a treasured thing in this life of turmoil and pain. I pray for each and every one for the Peace of God in their hearts and minds…and for the Peace of Jerusalem. Praise God

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