I have always been mindful of Your unfailing love…. (Psalm 26:3).
The dictionary defines “mindful” as simply being aware. Unfortunately, many psychologists today have constricted this term to mean simply being aware of the present moment, especially one’s own emotions in the present moment.
In the New Living Translation, this verse has David saying to God, “I am always aware of Your unfailing love.” God’s unfailing love is an eternal attribute of God, and David says he is perpetually contemplating this attribute. But notice how David applies mindfulness not just to his present moment, but to his past and future as well. In fact, David invites God to examine his heart and mind to verify that David is always properly mindful of God’s love.
Notice the past, present, and future tenses David uses—
Past (v. 1):
- I have led a blameless life
- I have trusted in the Lord without wavering
Present (vv. 3, 7, 11):
- Your love is ever before me
- I walk continually in Your truth
- I proclaim aloud your praise
- I lead a blameless life
Future (v. 12):
- In the great assembly I will praise the Lord
Notice that between David’s claim that he has led a blameless life and that he is still leading a blameless life, we read his request for God to, “Test me, O Lord, and try me, examine my heart and my mind.” David was perpetually mindful of God’s awareness of both his thoughts and his lifestyle.
Being mindful of God’s love means looking back in gratitude to recall God’s past provision, looking around in worship to see God’s ongoing involvement, and looking ahead in hope to anticipate God’s unending grace.
Unlike modern-day psychology which tells us mindfulness is a narrowing of our thoughts, biblical mindfulness is an expanding of our thoughts. Biblical mindfulness sees God’s past work and His future grace, and brings those to bear on our present circumstances.