by J. Randal Matheny, editor
“For this is a gracious thing, when, mindful of God, one endures sorrows while suffering unjustly.”
1 Peter 2:19 ESV
To be mindful of God means to be aware of his presence, knowledgeable of his will, conscious of his help, confident of his reward.
It means to react to this world’s opposition based on God rather than self or others.
If I am mindful of self, I will cower from suffering and seek its avoidance.
If I am mindful of others, I will modify behavior to please them and deflect criticism.
If I am mindful of pain, I will act to prevent or end it.
If I am mindful of God, however, I will know that he sees my every move and desires my good.
I will seek to understand his will and do it in every situation.
I will rejoice in persecution, knowing that the bricks of the path of righteousness are cemented with suffering.
Mindful of God, I will trust that he will give me strength to bear cheerfully any scorn and to endure any harm.
Aware of God, I will continue to proclaim the gospel of Christ, knowing that my reward comes from the Lord rather than from the praise of men.
Being mindful of God is for every moment, not only for the days of persecution and hours of suffering. For the consciousness of God generates thanksgiving for life and blessing; the sense of his nearness cultivates hope in the heart; the knowledge of his presence makes every moment sweet and precious.
Be mindful of God.
EXTRA: Definitions and Translations of “Mindful of God”
The Greek lexicon BDAG defines the phrase “mindful of God” (behind which is the word for “conscience”) in this verse as “consciousness, awareness of God.”
Charles Biggs, citing Alford, says that such a consciousness is “the realisation in a man’s inner being of God’s presence and relation to himself”/1 Biggs also quotes von Soden: “The consciousness that it is God’s will, and that God helps, gives strength to bear.”
Our esteemed brother Guy N. Woods described it as “their consciousness of God’s presence and approval”./2
The ESV maintains the RSV’s “mindful of God,” while the NRSV phrases it as “being aware of God.” The NIV also wins with “conscious of God.” NEB’s “because God is in his thoughts” is not a bad rendering either.
1/ C. Bigg, Epistles of St. Peter and St. Jude, ICC, 2nd ed. (1902) 144.
2/ Commentary on the NT Epistles of Peter, John and Jude (1976) 77.