We’ve all heard of people who are so heavenly-minded that they are no earthly good. We’ve also heard about preachers who promise their flock great reward in heaven, but ignore life’s difficulties. Some people accuse them of being “pie-in-the-sky prophets” who have forgotten that we must still live in the world.

But according to the writer of Hebrews, there is a proper heavenly-mindedness. It’s the virtue that enabled Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob to live by faith as tent-dwelling nomads in Canaan (11:8-10).

In his book Mere Christianity, C. S. Lewis wrote, “If you read history you will find that the Christians who did the most for the present world were just those who thought most of the next. The apostles themselves, . . . 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.'”

If our minds are properly occupied with heaven, we can’t help but do earthly good.