Tuesday, July 19, 2016


Here is a definition of the practice of mindfulness meditation:

·       "A kind of nonelaborative, nonjudgmental, present-centered awareness in which each thought, feeling, or sensation that arises in the attentional field is acknowledged and accepted as it is." (Wikipedia)

While the Bible has nothing against self-awareness - we are instructed to examine ourselves - it has a lot to say against non-judgmentalness.

From a biblical perspective, we are to know ourselves so that we can confess our sins, repent, and make the necessary adjustments.

Paul had criticized the Corinthian church for not judging themselves:

·       “That is why many of you are weak and ill, and some have died. But if we judged ourselves truly, we would not be judged.” (1 Corinthians 11:30-31)

Jesus taught His disciples that they had to first judge themselves by recognizing their own blindness (the "log" in their eye) before they could see clearly enough to remove the "splinter" from their brother's eye (Matthew 7:1-5).

Scripturally, spiritual growth depends upon self-examination and corrective action, starting with confession:

·       “The purpose in a man's heart is like deep water, but a man of understanding will draw it out.” (Proverbs 20:5)

“Whoever conceals his transgressions will not prosper, but he who confesses and forsakes them will obtain mercy. Blessed is the one who fears the Lord always, but whoever hardens his heart will fall into calamity.” (Proverbs 28:13-14)

However, the non-judgment of mindfulness leaves out this vital component, ignoring the fact that we are moral beings, and, as such, we have to live in accordance with our moral nature, as the bird must live in accordance with flight by grooming its feathers.

For optimal living, we cannot leave any part of our nature out of the equation. My natural tendency had been to justify and rationalize my wrongdoing. However, I could not completely silence the truth, conscience, and my moral nature, which had been indicting me of my crimes.

This meant that an internal but barely seen battle was raging within, depriving me of peace. My nature was telling me that I had done wrong, while I was trying to silence it.

Peace depended upon self-judgment. I had to acknowledge my sins before God and to receive his forgiveness. Nothing else would suffice.

How does mindfulness handle this problem? By disassociating from a critical part of ourself - our moral nature and guilt!

However, we cannot completely do this. When wronged, we judge. Besides, it is right to judge the pedophile who rapes and kills a two-year-old. However, such necessary judgments are inconsistent with mindfulness philosophy.

Contemporary society has found many others ways to disassociate - drinking, drugging, distracting, exercising, and even achieving. However, none of these address the real underlying problem - that we stand guilty before our Lord and must seek reconciliation with Him and even with ourselves!

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