Proper meditation is not only good, it's clearly Biblical. Christians should meditate. The first mention of meditation is found in Genesis 24:63 where in evening Isaac walks in the field specifically to meditate. The Hebrew action word here is suwach which means to muse pensively. More on musing in a moment.
Based upon Philippians 4:8-9, meditation is the contemplation of, or reflection upon truth, with intent to act. Proper thinking is good, but ultimately pensiveness must lead to a transformation that is worked out through actions (see Romans 12:1-8).
For some reason, when I think of meditation I relate it to tumbling rocks. If I owned a rock tumbler I would choose what types of rocks (the thoughts) to tumble, I would toss them into the tumbler (either the mind / heart as both are capable of thought) and then I'd press start. And then the stones would tumble and marinate in the gritty paste until all the sharp, imperfect edges were gone. I don't know if that analogy resonates with you, but it does with me!
But let's go back to musing for a moment. To muse is being engaged in careful and thorough thoughtfulness, to the point of being absorbed in thought. I would venture to say that most Americans are more familiar with the word amusement. In English, the prefix a- negates the word, so amuse is a diversion or occupation of time so that contemplation does not occur! Amusement is much loved, as extra moments are filled with social media and music while many evenings are dedicated to movies, TV or online consumption. Continual amusement leaves no time for deep thought or reflection upon what really matters — truth. It's not that all amusement is evil (although much is), but we do need to guard against amusement to the exclusion of deep, spiritual thought.
Amusement is not the only obstacle to meditation. Constant busyness and the pressure to work 7 days a week are a real barrier to meditation. It's a different post for another day, but meditation upon The Lord's Truth should be a regular part of Sunday, our day of rest.
I typically meditate by finding a quiet place in the evening, turning off my phone, closing my eyes (because I am a visual learner) and simply reflecting upon my life and my day.
Here are some questions that we can use to foster proper meditation:
- What did I do today that pleased (or displeased) The Father of Lights?
- "What Truth did I learn today?"
- "Did I spiritually grow or regress today?"
- "What fresh fruit do I choose to bear for The Kingdom of God?"
Psalm 4:4 beautifully and simply defines meditation. It says...
"Meditate within your heart on your bed, and be still. Selah"
Where, when and how will you choose to meditate today?
Additional Scriptures about meditation and thought include: Colossians 3:1-2, Psalm 119:36-37, Roman 8:5-7, Philippians 3:18-20 and Psalm 46:10.