Yep, you read the title correctly, I’m going to talk you about one of the silliest, yet most troubling things I’ve come across in a long time. I first encountered these “adult coloring books” about a year ago when my son came home from visiting family on Christmas Eve. His aunt had purchased Mandala coloring books for him because she knew how much he enjoyed drawing.
From the moment I saw the cover of these books I felt a little uneasy. At the time, I didn’t understand my apprehension to the books, but soon learned what the Holy Spirit was trying to tell me.
I’m sure you’ve probably seen these books in your local book, and department stores, but what you may not know is that they’ve found their way into Christian, as well as Mormon book stores.
So, what’s the big deal about these adult coloring books? They seem innocent enough, right? Well, putting aside that coloring is usually a child’s activity, let’s take a closer look at these books and see if we can answer those questions.
These “meditative” coloring books (as they are sometimes called) are meant to relax and rest your mind as you concentrate on filling in the tiny intricate patterns. The designs in these books are called Mandala(s).
According to Wikipedia Mandala “is a spiritual and ritual symbol in Indian religions, representing the universe. In common use, “mandala” has become a generic term for any diagram, chart or geometric pattern that represents the cosmos metaphysically or symbolically; a microcosm of the universe.”
While the “Mandala” designs may be different in books sold by Mormon and Christian companies, versus the secular the purpose behind the books are the same. Whether it’s a circle, or a flower the objective behind the patterns is to get your mind focused, and concentrated on the task of coloring in the tiny design.
Christians, along with Mormons should be very concerned about participating in this practice because it’s rooted in Hinduism, and Buddhism. These religions are about connecting you with the universe through mediation. In the same way yoga trains you to empty your mind so you can be one with the cosmos, Mandalas are designed to aid you the same manner.
Again from Wikipedia:
“In various spiritual traditions, mandalas may be employed for focusing attention of practitioners and adepts, as a spiritual guidance tool, for establishing a sacred space, and as an aid to meditation and trance induction.”
This hardly sounds biblical to me.
The practice of emptying your mind so that your thoughts can roam free isn’t found in the teaching of Jesus Christ, but it is in many false religions. Here are a few descriptions of the books. (These are taken from books sold on Deseret Book and a Christian Book site)
“A fun and unique pocket size coloring book designed to channel stress into relaxing, creative accomplishments.” (The Meaningful Coloring Book, by Emma Farrarons)
“Relax and meditate on positive possibilities as you color artist Deborah Muller’s intricately detailed hand-drawn designs. Posh Adult Coloring Book offers creativity, gratitude, and happiness on every page!” (posh Coloring Book, by Deborah Muller)
“Pick up your crayons, colored pencils, watercolors, or markers and allow the Spirit of the psalms wash away your stress, refresh your heart, and welcome you into the presence of God. Artist Michal Sparks created each coloring page to compliment a favorite verse from the book of Psalms and now invites you to add the colors.” (Color the Psalms: An Adult Coloring Book for Your Soul, by Michal Sparks)
“Slow down, relax, and contemplate God’s amazing world in this coloring book featuring detailed black-and-white illustrations of the animals, landscapes, and other wonders of creation. Appeals to all ages looking for a unique coloring experience.” (Wonders of Creation, Zondervan)
Notice how the descriptions of these books tell you how they are meant to relax you, to take away your stress, and help you to just slow down?
Now if only God had given us something we could use that would show us where we can find rest and relaxation, something that would tell us how we can refresh our minds, and ease the stress of our busy lives. Oh, that’s right He did!
Through His word, with the guidance of the Holy Spirit we can have renewed mind and spirit. Below are just a few verses that tell us where, and to who we can go to, to find rest, peace and joy for our minds, and hearts.
“And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.” (Romans 12:2)
“My flesh and my heart faileth: but God is the strength of my heart, and my portion for ever.” (Psalm 73:26)
“Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30)
“Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of “God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;” (2 Corinthians 10:5)
“Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost.” (Romans 15:13)
There are so many things in this world that want to draw us from the only place we can truly find rest, and peace. It’s important that we remain watchful of the things we choose to spend our time on. Not all hobbies, or interests of ours are going to bring glory to God. Using discernment is so important when deciding if we should allow a new (or old) trend into our lives. The time we have here on earth is so short, we need to be careful what we chose to spend our time on.
Satan is more than happy to use our interests whether they’re innocent, or not to lead us astray. He is always creating ways and means to draw us a way from Jesus. If he can persuade us to look to something as simple as a coloring book as a way to find rest he’s going to do it.
As the scripture says “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:” (1 Peter 5:8)