"Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth." (Col. 3:2)
How does this fit with God's First Commission to govern over the earth? (Gen. 1:26-28) Setting my mind on things above? Not on things on the earth? If I'm building houses, running a bank, or selling life insurance, I have to think about things on the earth, don't I?
But if we take a close look at the context of Col. 3:2, reading verses 1-14, we see that when Paul speaks of the "things on the earth," he is not referring to our jobs, our lawnmowers, or our checkbooks:
"If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth. For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is our life appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory. Therefore put to death your members which are on the earth: fornication, uncleanness, pasion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idoloatry. Because of these things the wrath of God is coming upon the sons of disobedience, in which you yourselves once walked when you lived in them. But now you yourselves are to put off all these: anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy language out of your mouth....Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility meekness, longsuffering; bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do. But above all these things put on love..." [NKJV]
The "things above," upon which we are to set our minds, are "tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering...etc."
The "things on the earth," upon which we are not to set our minds, are "fornication, uncleaness, passion, evil desire, convetousness...etc."
Paul then goes on to pen some of the most significant words in the New Testament pertaining to work on this planet: "Whatever work you do, do it with all your heart. Do it for the Lord and not for men." (verse 3:23, NLV)
Rather than suggesting that we not focus our mind on our earthly work, Paul says the opposite. We are to apply our whole heart to whatever work we do, as working for Christ Himself!