“For we know that the law is spiritual; but I am of the flesh, sold into slavery under sin. I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate. Now if I do what I do not want, I agree that the law is good. But in fact it is no longer I that do it, but sin that dwells within me. For I know that nothing good dwells within me, that is, in my flesh. I can will what is right, but I cannot do it. For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I do. Now if I do what I do not want, it is no longer I that do it, but sin that dwells within me.
So I find it to be a law that when I want to do what is good, evil lies close at hand. For I delight in the law of God in my inmost self, but I see in my members another law at war with the law of my mind, making me captive to the law of sin that dwells in my members. Wretched man that I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord!
So then, with my mind I am a slave to the law of God, but with my flesh I am a slave to the law of sin” Romans 7: 14-25.
Paul knew very well the struggle between the mind and our actions. We know what is wrong and what is right in our minds, but our actions betray us. No one is perfect and disciplined enough to do prevent them self from sinning. To sin is a part of our human nature and despite the love and power of God, He will not destroy our human nature. God has given us the freedom and will to choose our own actions. God has also given us everything we need in life to know what is right from wrong.
Mindfulness will often bring tension. We become aware of how we are feeling, what we are thinking, and how our body is responding. However, this is not enough to stop us from doing what we know to be wrong. It is up to us to pause and do some self-assessment. Mindfulness provides the opportunity to stop our self from doing what we know to be wrong. Mindfulness is not intended to be a moment of judging what our emotions are, its intention is bring us into awareness of our thoughts and the response our body is having. Paul was able to do this, he was able to recognize his sinful nature and the conflict at war between his thoughts and his actions.
Once you are able to step outside of the act of mindfulness, there is the opportunity to check in with God. Are your actions and desires keeping in line with God’s word? Will your actions produce the fruits of the spirit (Galatians 5:22-23)? Returning to the word of God and bringing our actions and thoughts to Him in prayer will help us to narrow the gap between the spiritual war that is within us.
Review Galatians 5:22-23. Ask yourself if you thoughts and actions reflect the character listed in these verses.
During meditation and moments of mindfulness continue to learn not to judge your feelings and emotions. Keep remembering that the goal is to become aware of your feelings, emotions, your body, and your environment.
Outside of meditation and mindfulness is when you can address any awareness that you realize is not in line with the character of holiness. Pray over any struggles that are rooted in spiritual battles.