Is Mindfulness a counterfeit to what God has coined the renewal of the mind?
When I think about meditation it’s a mystery to me…
It’s a mystery because when the Bible eludes to meditation as a practice it does not tell us how to do it.
Or does it?
We have some of our favorite passages in the Bible that talks about meditation but most of us as Christians don’t really understand meditation.
Well, let me just say before I started doing the research to help me build this website I didn’t have a lot of understanding about the subject.
When I thought about meditation the first thoughts that came to my mind is yoga or something mystical.
As a believer and follower of Christ, I believe wholeheartedly what the Bible says about meditation.
But I just didn’t really understand what it looks like in the everyday life of the believer.
What I mean by that is… How does one meditate on the word of God day and night as the Bible admonishes us to?
Special Resource: Reclaiming The Lost Art Of Biblical Meditation
What is Biblical Meditation?
Biblical Meditation is contemplative thought centered around and filtered through the word of God.
That’s my short definition of Biblical Meditation.
Let’s look at a couple of popular verses in the Bible that most Christians are very familiar with.
Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.
But his delight is in the law of the Lord and in his law doth he meditates day and night.
This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein.
God tells Joshua that if he does this that he would make his way prosperous and that he would be successful in his endeavors.
God speaks to all of us in the 1st Psalm and tells us that we will be like fruitful trees because of meditating on his word.
We all want to be prosperous and have good success in the things that we do.
But here’s something that I discovered about us as people of God…
We all… or at least most of us have our own agendas about how we want to go about being successful.
And it’s usually not the way that God has purposed.
There is another thing that I discovered as well…
Whatever God has established and settled in heaven will come into fruition in the earth.
That’s just a fancy way of saying… What God wants to do, he will do.
He’s really good at the art of persuasion and we can trust what he tells us through the Apostle Paul…
He tells us in Philippians 1:6 That the good work in which he has started in us that he will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ.
Now that’s something to think about…
What Is Mindfulness?
If you do a little research on the subject of mindfulness you would discover that there are more than a few definitions floating around the internet.
Here’s one that I like and I think it just about sums up what mindfulness really is.
“Mindfulness is… a mental state achieved by focusing one’s awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one’s feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations, used as a therapeutic technique.”
The term “Mindfulness” was first coined by the great Buddhist scholar T. W. Rhys Davids at the dawn of the 20th Century.
Interestingly though, Rhys Davids deliberated among various terms before settling on mindfulness.
In his 1881 publication of Buddhist suttas, sati was rendered as ‘mental activity,’ and even simply as ‘thought.’
The Day of The Lord is approaching us faster than we know.
I know this because as the day is hastened the things of the world will begin to look closer to the things of God.
The reason I bring this up is that it can be said about this so-called Mindfulness Generation.
Mindfulness is not a new idea it’s just packaged in a way that allows us to exclude any thoughts of God and religion.
God has been telling us since the beginning to be circumspect.
The word of God has been telling us that our minds need to be renewed for thousands of years now.
For me, the jury is still out on the mindful thing. So, for now, let’s look at the aspects of…
Biblical Meditation vs Mindfulness
As a devout follower of Jesus Christ and an advocate of the Word of God, I am not attempting to persuade anyone to be for or against the mindfulness movement.
However, as I have researched the benefits of mindfulness I have only seen it to be counterfeit to what is known to Christians as renewing the mind.
Why do I say it’s a counterfeit? I’m glad you asked…
So let’s just do a little comparing with Biblical Meditation vs Mindfulness.
It’s obvious that when doing any type of meditative thought that the mind will wander at some point.
As Christians, we are instructed to… Try the spirit by the Spirit to see if it’s of God.
If our thoughts as Christians do not line up with the mind of Christ, we are instructed to cast them down and bring every thought under the obedience of Christ.
In layman’s terms, this means that if God didn’t say it, don’t do it.
Thoughts come to us and we have to have the wisdom to know from where they are coming.
What Does Mindfulness Say About Wandering Thoughts?
As I have mentioned that the jury is still out for me concerning mindfulness… And I say that because I have discovered some positive things about mindfulness.
Here is where Biblical Meditation and Mindfulness differ.
As for dealing with wandering thoughts during the meditation practice, those who advocate mindfulness suggest that you shouldn’t judge the thoughts that come.
Most of what I have researched instructs the practitioner to just go back to the breathing exercise or whatever mantra they are rehearsing.
This to me sounds a bit new age if you ask me.
Nevertheless, studies are showing that those who are practicing mindfulness are benefiting from the practice.
I believe that God can use anything that he chooses to show that he is the creator and sustainer of all things.
So, if you are an advocate of Biblical Meditation as I am or if you are practicing mindfulness they both exhort us to silence during the practice.
I have learned that it is best to be silent and let things be as they will be.
We will talk more on this subject at a later date if the Lord will. So, until the next time…
Whatever things are true… Think about those things.