|Becoming Christian Mindful|
Ready. Set. Go! (1)
...in your hearts regard Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you.
I am set for the defence of the gospel.
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Mindful or mindless?
“Mindfulness” is a topic of much discussion these days among educational psychologists and others.
According to Ellen J. Langer, “mindfulness” is the opposite of “mindlessness.” We live mindlessly when we allow familiar patterns, practices, and ways of being to dictate the terms by which we live, so that we’re not open to new ideas or opportunities as they arise.
Dr. Langer writes “A mindful state also implies openness to new information…mindfully engaged individuals will actively attend to changed signals. Behavior generated from mindful listening or watching, from an expanding, increasingly differentiated information base, is, of course, likely to be more effective” (Mindfulness).
A mindful person is one who is always ready to adjust or adapt to whatever situation or opportunity presents, ready to receive and assess new inputs and to share new thoughts or express new ways of being in the world. Mindless people, Dr. Langer explains, are trapped in familiar categories and ways of thinking and being. Their lives tend to be stale, unimaginative, and dull. Mindful people, on the other hand, are always ready for new challenges and set to make necessary adjustments, so that they can go forward in their lives in new, fresh, and more effective ways.
The Christian mind
The Bible has much to say about the “Christian mind” and the use we should make of it. Peter says that, in our minds, we must be ready to give a reason for the hope of the Gospel and the reality of the Christian worldview. Paul described himself as “set” to defend the Gospel before the highest court of the Roman world.
Believers in Jesus Christ have the mind of Christ, so that we should be able to think His thoughts after Him, and to see our lives more as a reflection of His (1 Cor. 2:16). But so much of contemporary Christian living seems more mindless than mindful, at least, where the mind of Christ is concerned. Perhaps this is why the idea of a “Christian mind”, first sought out by Harry Blamires in the early ‘60s, and its absence lamented by Mark Noll in the early ‘90s, continues to be an elusive commodity today.
Peter said we must be ready to explain our worldview. Paul insisted that he was set to defend the Christian message. Ready. Set…Go?
What do you understand by the notion of a “Christian mind”? Talk with some of your Christian friends about this. What examples of a Christian mind can you identify? How can believers begin to live more fully from the context of a Christian mind?
Start your own ViewPoint discussion group. This week’s series is available in a free downloadable format, suitable for group study. Request the series, “Ready. Set. Go!” For more insight to this subject, order the book, The Christian Mind, by Harry Blamires, from our online store. You might also read the article, “Words to Live By: A Basic Worldview Vocabulary,” by T. M. Moore.
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Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture references are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version, copyright 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.