What is mindfulness?
Question: "What is mindfulness? Should a Christian be involved in mindfulness?"
Answer: Mindfulness is a term used to describe a meditative state in which people direct their attention inward to become more self-aware. Mindfulness is self-examination of one’s thoughts, feelings, physical sensations, and emotions with no judgment of their being right or wrong. The goal of meditative mindfulness is to identify thoughts and feelings about a particular issue, to live in the moment, and to accept oneself completely. When this goal has been reached, the person is said to have entered a state of mindfulness.
Mindfulness is rooted in Buddhism, as promoters of mindfulness readily admit, although it is often adapted for secular purposes. The ideology behind mindfulness is to achieve stillness and balance of the mind.
Man’s efforts to calm the mind and rid the life of stressors—through mindfulness or other New Age techniques—are an attempt to manufacture peace. From a biblical perspective, we know that only Jesus gives the peace that can exist in all circumstances (John 14:27; Philippians 4:7). No human can control emotions or thoughts on his or her own because we are born slaves to a sinful nature (Romans 6:17–23). Only through the power of the Holy Spirit who sets our minds free to think truthfully can we know true peace. If we want to practice being more aware or insightful, there are much better options than mindfulness techniques, such as Bible study and prayers for insight.
When Christians think biblically, they see things defined through the lens of Scripture. The word mindful, which means “attentive,” is not describing anything inherently wrong. Christians can be mindful of Christ by taking every thought captive for Christ and renewing their minds with the truth (2 Corinthians 10:5; Romans 12:2). But mindfulness, as promoted in psychology and used as a meditation technique, is not biblical.
Recommended Resource: Experience the Life Series, Believe as Jesus Believed - Transformed Mind by Hull & Mascarella
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