I grew up in Assemblies of God and Pentecostal churches and also attended Baptist church for several years. In each of those denominations I have heard countless warnings of this, “Don’t be so heavenly minded that you’re no earthly good. The way it was portrayed to me was as a caution to not be so caught up in church “stuff” that I miss doing what God wanted me to do in life. Somehow this made sense to me. I could see that spending all my time in Bible study and prayer could cause me to stay in my little Jesus bubble and cut me off from contact with the world that Jesus commanded that we share the good news with.
Over the past several years, I have to disagree with this mentality; that it is possible to be too heavenly minded that I would be no earthly good. What changed my mind? I can think of no more heavenly minded individual that walked this planet than Jesus Christ. Last I checked, He changed the course of history and was able to minister to most he came in contact with. Whether it was healing, or freedom from the bondage of sin that He gave people, there was no doubt where His passion originated from.
It came from keeping His eyes continually on the Father and only doing what He was instructed to do . See, He was so in tune with heaven, that He could not help but be “earthy good,” because the heart of God is for all mankind to be saved.
Maybe it’s that our definition of “heavenly minded” is incorrect. We (Christendom) have woven into this term the idea that being heavenly minded is praying and studying 24/7, going to Sunday morning, Sunday night, Wednesday night, and whatever other night church programs or retreats that we can handle. Instead we should follow the example of the One who we claim to emulate.
Christ’s idea of “heavenly minded” is having intimate relationship with God. Only when this relationship is established can He put something deep inside us that we cannot stop. As we surrender our will to His, our nature becomes in sync with His heart in that it becomes our desire that none should perish. So this deep groaning in our heart calls us out to minister to the needs of the world. Whether it be providing food, money, a helping hand, or simply an ear to listen, our nature has to be one of a willing servant to those in need.
Recently Americn Idol has started using their popularity as a platform to raise money for many different charitable endeavors. They call it Idol Gives Back. It brought to mind Matthew 25, where Jesus is giving a picture of Judgement Day. Some religious people are sent to hell with the words, “I never knew you,” while others were invited to join God in heaven. The difference? <em>”For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me. . . I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.”</em>
So I ask myself, who is being more heavenly minded?