Thursday

Unhealthy Meditation

I first heard about meditation in the 1970’s. I’m a child of the 70’s. A bell-bottomed, tie-dyed, peace symbol-wearing child of the 70’s. 

And though I was way too young in those days to do anything but wear the clothing and watch from a distance, I distinctly remember an afro-adorned peace lover announcing, “Meditation is the way, man.” He then demonstrated how to do it—sit on the floor with your legs crossed, arms bent at the elbows with palms pointing up and eyes closed. Then you chant: “Ummmmmmmmm. Ummmmmmmm.”

Several weeks ago I shared two blog posts about Christian meditation. You can read Part I, Why You Need to Marinate and Meditate, HERE. Or Part II, Why You Need to Marinate and Meditate, HERE. I talked about what meditation is, what it is not, and how meditating on Scripture can positively affect and enhance your life.

Today, however, in my quest to read through the Bible in a year, I came across another verse on meditation we needed to consider. And another fact:

We meditate all the time, whether we know it or not.

To meditate means to engage in thought or contemplation. In my previous post, I gave the somewhat icky example of a cow chewing its cud as a mental picture of the practice of meditation. When we meditate, we mentally return to something over and over again. Meditation, by nature, is repetitive.

My quiet time reading reminded me that I often practice the wrong kind of meditation. Instead of focusing on what I know to be true—that God loves me, promises to care for me, has a good plan for my life, watches over my children, provides for my needs, and on and on and on, I meditate on things that are uncertain in my life. I turn them over and over in my mind.

Are the kids safe? Are they attending church? Will my husband lose his job? Will terrorists attack our country? Will my friend be all right? And on, and on, and on.


Psalm 104:33 reminded me that it matters to God what I meditate on.

“I will sing praise to my God while I have my being, May my meditation be sweet to Him.”

When I sing praises and rehearse in my heart and mind how good God is and how many good things he’s done for me, my meditation is a sweet sound in his ears. When I meditate on fearful and uncertain things, it is not.

Psalm 19:14 reinforces this.

“May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer.”

The Bible is full of examples of how we should “put off” sin and “put on” righteousness. This spiritual wardrobe change applies to meditation, too.

To meditate in a way that is sweet to the Lord’s ear and pleasing to his heart, we must think thoughts and speak words of praise to him and about him.

This is the exact opposite of the never-ending chorus of me, me, me, mine, mine, mine. Meditation that glorifies God sounds more like You, You, You, Yours, Yours, Yours.

You are beautiful beyond description. 

You are holy, and righteous, and true. 

You are long suffering, slow to anger, and abounding in love. 

You are the lover of my soul. 

Today, will you join me in meditating on how amazingly awesome God is instead of how terribly troublesome our trials are? If we do, our meditation will be sweet to God’s ears and healing to our hearts. 



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