“Be more aware of the present moment, including your thoughts and feelings, your body and the world around you. Some people call this awareness ‘mindfulness’. It can positively change the way you feel about life and how you approach challenges.” This is the NHS’s fifth piece of advice for maintaining good mental health. This is surely not an encouragement to look in on ourselves and over-think situations – that’s definitely not helpful for either good mental health or spiritual growth. But it is certainly good for us to develop appreciation for the good things we have and to embrace whatever situation we are in, understanding that it is part of God’s care for us. Scripture says that we should “in everything give thanks” (1 Thessalonians 5:17). This elevates “mindfulness” to beyond the NHS’s sound advice and up onto another level: prayer. Scripture’s mindfulness is about fixing our minds on God: on His goodness and love and on His promises for the future. Job, who famously went through some of the biggest challenges to mental wellbeing that anyone has ever faced, was told to “stand still and consider the wondrous works of God” (Job 37:14) and was made to reflect on the marvels of Creation. The Psalmist is moved to speak of his anguish of mind, but went on to say, “I will remember the works of the LORD; surely I will remember your wonders of old.” (Psalm 77:10-11). And as we “remember the works of the LORD,” the Bible advises us to dwell upon these good things: “…whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy – meditate on these things.” (Philippians 4:8) If we allow ourselves to get too wrapped up in our own thinking, we can imagine things that are not necessarily “true” and plenty of things that are neither “noble” nor “of good report”. So let’s endeavour to be more mindful: to develop an attitude of gratitude and to fill our minds with things that are true, noble, right, pure and lovely – things divine. (This is our 5th of 5 posts; see previous weekly posts for more suggestions.) pershore.bible Pershore-christadelphians.org

Short Thoughts Home