Heavenly Minded Or Earthly Good?

Heavenly Minded Or Earthly Good?

by Jeffrey Rosario  |  April 4, 2014

It’s been said that Christians are “so heavenly minded that they’re no earthly good.” That’s a tragic indictment. It infers that with all the injustices and pressing needs of this world, what good is it to be fixated on a future, distant world?

But, ironically, the true problem is precisely the opposite. The issue is not that Christians think too much about heaven, but rather that we don’t think hard enough about it. And this lack is the cause of much indifference in the church regarding the present world.

One example is the apostle Paul, who, in terms of making an impact on the world, is definitely on the long list of game changers. He summarizes his philosophy of life succinctly:

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

Some translations say “affections,” instead of “minds.” This sounds a whole lot like saying: “get fixated on heaven, not on earth!” So much for the accusation of being “too heavenly minded.” According to Scripture, the more our minds and hearts are fixed on heaven, the more our lives will make a meaningful impact here on earth.

As C.S. Lewis pointed out in his classic, Mere Christianity:

A continual looking forward to the eternal world is not (as some modern people think) a form of escapism or wishful thinking, but one of the things a Christian is meant to do. It does not mean that we are to leave the present world as it is. If you read history you will find that the Christians who did most for the present world were just those who thought most of the next. The Apostles themselves, who set on foot the conversion of the Roman Empire, the great men who built up the Middle Ages, the English Evangelicals who abolished the Slave Trade, all left their mark on Earth, precisely because their minds were occupied with Heaven. It is since Christians have largely ceased to think of the other world that they have become so ineffective in this. Aim at Heaven and you will get earth “thrown in:” aim at earth and you will get neither.

(Mere Christianity, p.134)

The reality of heaven is a reminder of what God’s original purpose was for this present world. Keeping the future life central to our paradigm gives us a constant reminder of what life on earth ought to be like––full of love, goodness, joy, and purpose. It inspires us to strive for that ideal in the here and now and guards us from complacency and indifference.

May we live our lives in the atmosphere of heavenly realities and strive to make a difference in this world. May we be so heavenly minded that we become of great earthly good!

Jeffrey Rosario Speaker
Light Bearers
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  • everton

    Lovely response. My logical mind appreciates it

  • In your last paragraph you hit on the core of what Christianity needs to focus on regarding heaven. Many Christians don’t really know what heaven will be like. When asked to consider heaven many will go to thoughts about “sliding down the neck of a giraffe, or riding on the back of a lion”. We need to be thinking of heavenly things in a more societal construct.

    Imagine living in a place where everyone lived by the law of love! Imagine selflessness in your heart toward everyone around you. Imagine your needs never being a concern and your Father always being there for you. Now that you have imagined this, realize that God is offering this type of relationship to us right now.

    “You will know them by their love, one for another.”

  • Shirley Heisey

    Your article’s point is well-taken. However, I think the initial quote may have been meant in a different way. It is possible for us to be so saintly sanctimonious that we are unwilling to get down and ‘dirty.’ If we are so afraid of earthly contamination that we hibernate away from people who need the compassion and example of Christ, we fail to mingle as One desiring their best good. We fail to minister to their needs and point them to Jesus. Just another way of looking at this. God bless your ministry!

  • Kylie Carlsen

    You nailed it Jeffrey. Praise Jesus for bringing heaven to earth.

  • Oh that He will lift me up into heavenly places (Eph 2:6) DAILY so that I might do a little earthly good daily.

  • I agree with you Shirley.

  • Nazir Masih

    we live on this earth keep heaven as our goal to be with Jesus for ever.

  • Maryann Lee

    Great article!

  • Jesus spoke of the kingdom not as some future ideal to aspire to emulate but a living present reality those that have eyes to see and ears to hear actually participate in. The dualism of separating this life from some future paradise is the source of much of that leaves us sitting on our hands waiting for some future kingdom.

  • Not coincidentally, God put the same message on my heart for community worship last Sabbath.

    The very notion of belief in heaven and the second coming are under attack from within Christendom. Adventists are – by definition – to be anticipating Christ’s return and the fulfillment of His literal kingdom.

  • You just can’t fake being a Christian, at least as far as Jesus Christ is concerned. But some people sure do say some flamboyant things that really…! And so, here is what I’m going to say: Christians (True Christians, as to say “All” True Christians) are soldiers; and we are all either with Him or against Him. True Christians get the Baptism of the Holy Spirit before being led by the Holy Spirit into Holy Spirit Boot Camp where they earn their first stripes. Santification which is a life-long process for those who remain faithful to Jesus Christ serves as a means to improve; specialize; lose stripes; gain stripes; etc; etc. Hence in conclusion: I cannot perceive any realistic claim that a Christian (any True Christian) could be mind-set exclusively in either Heaven or Earth. And I’m not suggesting here how to act like a True Christian, because I know in some religious community, there is a lot of acting going on. Thanks and have a good day.

  • Ajshe

    Interesting devotional, a lot of truths indeed. But when I read the topic above, I initially thought its meaning as being a contradiction. Meaning, being extremely attached to heavenly things that we forget being Christlike. Jesus came from heaven but ministered to the people as he lead them to heavenly principles and things. So i’de say be Christlike 🙂 just my view.

  • Maryann Lee

    Reread and glad I did…..

  • Lee

    Be happy Be kind!
    Be loving Be true!

    I’ll meet you in Heaven,
    And live next door to you.

    Amen, Jeff.