Meditation – most people would associate it with relaxation, allowing the mind to rest, freeing ourselves from our worrisome thoughts, being mindful about the NOW and not on either what’s already PAST or what’s still COMING. Well, it’s even associated with yoga! It’s because of these meanings that Christians shun away from meditation. They say it’s an unbiblical practice.
But how very wrong that way of thinking is! The Bible encourages believers to meditate. The Bible contains 20 verses that have the words meditation and meditate. So, if you’re a Christian wanting to do meditation but just isn’t sure how’s it done fitting with your conviction, below are the what and the how-tos regarding Biblical reflection.
There’s Meditation. Then, There’s Biblical Meditation!
Meditation to the world is, in a sense, an emptying of one’s mind and finding the center of one’s consciousness within. Simply put, it is self-centered. Self-relaxation, self-love, finding self-worth – these are just some of secular meditation’s hailed benefits.
On the other hand, Biblical meditation is the exact opposite of the former. Instead of focusing on finding the center of your consciousness within yourself, it emphasizes finding your center, your worth, yourself in God through immersing yourself in his words, the Bible. In other words, it is God-centered.
Marty Schwebel, LMFT, says, “The Bible is replete with references to meditation, with many of the New Testament epistles admonishing us to fix our mind, our thoughts on Jesus and every good thing, and to continue in God’s living word.”
The Benefits Christians Get From Biblical Meditation
Now that we know that to meditate Biblically, we need to immerse ourselves, ponder and contemplate on God’s Words, what benefits can we get from actually doing it? Well, Biblical meditation has numerous advantages, but I’m just going to enumerate the three most important ones:
- It is essential for our faith to grow. Gospel writer Matthew describes Christian faith as a small seed that, when adequately sustained, could develop into a tree so big even the birds take shelter in its branches. Meditating on God’s Laws and Words is the vital sustenance our faith needs to grow. We can read about that in Psalm Chapter 1 verses 2 to 3.
- It sustains our spiritual life, Kind of like how our physical body needs water. Jesus spoke of a type of water he will give to those seeking it. And when they do drink it, they would never thirst again (John 4 and John 7). The Scriptures, in a manner, is like water. It takes away the thirst from a parched soul. For Marjie Roddick, LMHC, spiritual wellness is having meaning in life. She wrote, “Spiritual wellness may come from activities such as volunteering, self-reflection, meditation, prayer, or spending time in nature. Signs of strong spiritual health include having clear values, a sense of self-confidence, and a feeling of inner peace.”
- It keeps our hope for His glorious appearing alive. The Bible gives credence to the faith we profess and hold on to. The promises spoken within its pages, the comforting words we read and the life-changing stories contained inside give us the courage to face bleak days here on earth knowing that our eternity isn’t like this – it’s spent in bliss in the arms of God.
Ways To Do Biblical Meditation
These are the three most essential components of Biblical meditation – worship, reflecting on God’s word and prayer. Some Bible-based meditation proponents consider only the latter two as crucial. However, I believe that we shouldn’t forget to factor in worship when we do our Bible meditations as singing songs to God is one great way to open ourselves up to Him.
“How do we increase our faith? First, I think we need to meditate on God’s goodness. Take time to notice His order in nature.” – Allison Ricciardi, LMHC.
Like secular meditation, you need to consciously put in the time and effort to do your Biblical meditation [or devotions and quiet times, as others call it]. Find a comfortable but peaceful place to do it, too. When doing your reflections, you can bring a notebook with you to jot your thoughts or verses you feel are essential down. You are mostly free to do whatever you want to when meditating; just make sure the three points are at work – you’re worshipping God, centering yourself to Him; you are reflecting on His words, and you end your devotions with prayers.