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Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about delayed gratification. As in, doing what will pay off later, versus what feels good or is easy in the moment.
It’s a great concept, right? Living with an eye on the future, and making choices that will result in a positive outcome a few months down the road (while also avoiding a negative outcome). But, not always easy to do.
For example, I’ve been trying for quite a while to lose 20 stubborn pounds. I know that the key is to keep my eye on the prize, and remember that what I do today will affect how I feel (and how my pants fit!) tomorrow. It’s not easy, but that’s what I need to remember! Because otherwise, what’s to keep me from just binging on chocolate all day, with no regard to the outcome?
Likewise, we should have the same thought process with regards to eternity (that is, life after death). We focus so much on the here and now—this short life on earth—and yet eternity is so much longer! But because it seems so far off, it’s easier put it on the back burner…as in, “I’ll worry about that later. Today, I have too much to do!”
It’s not that far off though, is it? Not one of us knows how long we will live, or when Jesus will return, or anything that the future holds.
How do I set my mind on things above?
But, you might say, what does it actually mean to actually have an eternal perspective? And how do we do that? I think it boils down to the HOPE of heaven. In this life, even the seemingly wonderful things (like money or fame), will eventually lead to emptiness. But God is all about LOVE…so if we want to focus on having a heavenly perspective, we have to focus on LOVE.
4 Benefits of Keeping an Eternal Mindset
For me, it was a strong desire to be assured a place in heaven, that first led me to repentance and a relationship with Jesus. (Okay, fear of judgement and not wanting to go to hell might be more accurate).
In the years since, I’ve tasted and seen that God is good, and I’ve seen the benefit of developing an eternal perspective on life.
But still, it’s not always easy to keep up that eternal mindset in the face of distractions and shiny things of this world! However, it’s so worth it. Let’s explore just a few benefits of fixing our eyes on the “prize” of heaven…
1) Eternity reminds us to seek God’s kingdom FIRST.
First and foremost, an eternal mindset will help us to keep the #1 thing the #1 thing. And that #1 thing is God’s kingdom—specifically, Jesus’ charge to us, to share the good news. While we look forward to eternity, we know there are still many people who don’t know Jesus, and thus don’t have that same hope. We need to keep a kingdom mindset, and to share the hope we have in Jesus.
2) Eternity helps us weather the storms of life!
In the midst of trials, the thought of spending eternity with God (where there will be no more tears, pain, or death—Revelation 21:4), makes our struggles seem much smaller. This life may sometimes seem long and full of pain, but it’s just a blip on the radar on comparison to eternity. It really does help to set your mind on Jesus! After all, it was Jesus who said this: “In this world, you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33)
3) Eternity causes us to focus on things that really matter.
Loving God, and loving our neighbors…it’s what we did in LOVE that we’ll carry with us into eternity (and, that will stay with our loved ones who are still on earth too). In the context of eternity and building up treasures of love, does that argument really matter? Is it really that important to gain that promotion, if it takes you away from your family? I could go on, but you get the idea.
4) Eternity causes us to invest in heavenly things!
Like a 5-year-old kid who you’re already saving for college for, and a 12-year-old already thinking about scholarships and GPA’s, it’s good to consider life as prep school for heaven. How are we investing our time and our talents today? Just imagine, that when you get to heaven, you meet all the people you led to Jesus, all the folks who were hungry and you gave them a meal, or the students you taught, or the people you encouraged. The people and purposes you choose to invest in MATTER.
Every day we should remember, that the things of this world are like cheap baubles: they look amazing at first, but after a while, the glitter will flake off, rhinestones fall out, and they lose their luster. In contrast, eternal things are like real diamonds and gold. By keeping an eternal mindset, we can store our treasures in heaven (Matthew 6:19-21), and prevent ourselves from being deceived by the false lure of earthly things.
Hi! Thank you so much for visiting Divine Creative Love. I’m a Jesus-lovin’ girl, lettering artist, designer, and general creative-at-heart. And, I have narcolepsy. I blog about faith in God, overcoming challenges, and creative topics such as Bible journaling. If you’re new here, be sure and subscribe to my list so you won’t miss anything!