the shape of leadership

Seven Things to Know About Biblical Meditation

What to tell your congregation

Chris Colvin on January 15, 2020

Everywhere you turn these days, it seems there is talk of meditation or mindfulness. Most of this comes from an Eastern religious context.

However, the Bible also teaches about meditation. There may be people in your church who are curious about what it means to meditate as a Christian. Here are seven things to share with them:

1. Biblical meditation is not about emptying your mind. Eastern religions teach the emptying of the mind, while the Bible emphasizes focusing on God and His Word. Every instance in Scripture of the word “meditate” involves thinking about something. Philippians 4:8 offers guidelines concerning what Christians should think about.

2. Biblical meditation can involve speaking. Joshua 1:8 says, “Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night.

The Hebrew word for “meditate” here can also be translated as “utter” or “speak.” Meditation doesn’t have to be silent. You can quote Scripture while meditating. You can also worship God, sing songs of praise, or pray. But be careful not to just repeat empty words (Matthew 6:7).

The Bible instructs followers to think about what God has done.

3. Biblical meditation is all about the Word of God. Psalm 119:15 says, “I meditate on your precepts and consider your ways.” As we focus on Scripture, we should reflect on what God’s truths teach us about Jesus and our relationship with Him.

4. Biblical meditation is also about the work of God. The Bible instructs followers to think about what God has done. Psalm 77:12 says “I will consider all your works and meditate on all your mighty deeds.” By seeing His hand in the natural world, you can better understand who God is and think about it deeply (Romans 1:20).

5. Biblical meditation should lead to obedience. Joshua 1:8 says to meditate on God’s law “so that you may be careful to do everything written in it.” Biblical meditation is an opportunity to invite God to search our hearts and change us from the inside out as we seek to honor Him.

6. Biblical meditation is wise. Psalm 39:3 paints a picture of someone in distress who waits and meditates before speaking or acting. Proverbs 15:28 says “The heart of the righteous weighs (meditates on) its answers, but the mouth of the wicked gushes evil.” If you want to know the right thing to say or do, spend some time praying and meditating on God’s truth.

7. Biblical meditation can happen any time. It helps to set aside a specific time to meditate on God and His Word. Psalms 63:6 and 119:148 suggest nighttime can be a good time for meditation. But Psalm 119:97 teaches that we can meditate all day long. A good way to start is by meditating early in the morning and late at night. We can also set reminders throughout the day to stop and think about God, His Word and all He has done.

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