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Mindfulness in Christ

Personal development is popular in both personal and business lifestyles. Those who teach mindset practices afford us thousands of opportunities with blogs, podcasts, and videos. Join a group, go onto a zoom, or attend huge in-person events and learn to be a better you. Paul reminds us to be transformed by the renewing of our minds. When we do that we can test what is God's will.[1]

Mindfulness practices are popular for relieving stress and are a tool that therapists often use with patients. "To be mindful is to observe and label thoughts, feelings, sensations in the body in an objective manner. Mindfulness can therefore be a tool to avoid self-criticism and judgment while identifying and managing difficult emotions.”[2] Clinical help is especially sought-after since 2020 in which thousands found themselves in a state of depression.

Some would argue that success in mindfulness is equal to being their authentic self. Authentic is defined as "genuine, original, real and actual.”[3] Can a person be in a state of mindfulness in which they intentionally focus on their thoughts and present state and still maintain genuineness? Is that authenticity? Are mindfulness and authenticity two sides of the same coin? Authenticity without mindfulness is a void vessel making a lot of noise. Mindfulness without authenticity is a sponge sucking all the liquid and holding it. Where does that definition leave us? Is it merely a race through our brain to capture thoughts that are not always useful and often repetitive? Or can we find “the genuine” in our search?

Businesses are mindful of "authenticity" as a buzzword for Gen Z. “Data reported by CNBC shows that authenticity is an important value for Gen Z, with “67 percent of those surveyed agreeing that ‘being true to their values and beliefs makes a person cool.”[4] Companies direct their branding and marketing towards accomplishing this measure of "cool" for that generation of consumers.

If then, this state of authenticity (mindfulness) is prized, where do Christian beliefs and values stand? Can a person be a Christian and practice mindfulness? As stated in an article by Focus on the Family, "Secular mindfulness is horizontal. In other words, you pay attention only to yourself. However, that approach contradicts Scripture’s teaching to have the mind of Christ and evaluate everything in light of our vertical relationship with God and Jesus.”[5] When used as a Christ-centered, faith-based therapy in counseling, or personal meditation on scripture, mindfulness can be an effective tool. Perhaps, this is the true duplicity of authenticity, those who practice mindfulness in the horizontal versus those who embrace the vertical relationship with God.

Christian, be vertical, mindful, and authentic in Christ. "Who has known the mind of the Lord as to instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ."[6]

Foundations of Truth hereby waives all claim of copyright (economic and moral) in this work and immediately places it in the public domain; it may be used, published, edited, and distributed in any manner whatsoever without any attribution or notice to Foundations of Truth.

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