by Michelle Algarra
Aside from prayer and Bible reading/study, Christians must learn how to meditate. People know how to spend inordinate amounts of time in worry and lustful fantasizing. These are actually corrupt, wrong forms of meditation.
What is meditation? According to the American Heritage Dictionary, to meditate is to reflect on; contemplate, and/or to engage in prayer. Through prayer, first and foremost, we focus on communicating with God and baring our soul to Him. In the privacy of prayer, we reveal to Him our innermost thoughts, desires, pleas, and concerns. Through prayer, we fellowship with God who created all things, especially human beings in His image and likeness.
Through proper form of meditation, in our daily thoughts and most especially quiet time, we learn to think like God the Father and Jesus Christ the Son, who are holy and never sin. Meditation, like prayer, involves focus, concentration, and discipline.
Pagan religions like Buddhism and Hinduism teach that meditation is “to train or empty the mind, by focusing on a single object”. Transcendental meditation tries to “unclutter” one’s thoughts through repetitive utterances of a single word such as “flower”, until one achieves stillness in one’s thoughts. Since our thoughts are multiple and varied, this is not really possible. Forcing yourself to try to “meditate” like this will only cause a person to get bored and worse, fall asleep.
Christian meditation involves the following: contemplating/thinking about godly things, such as passages of Scripture, and analysing teachings and doctrines of the church, for further clarity and accuracy. In this regard, meditation and study of Scripture become integral and/or parallel pursuits.
Another form of meditation is finding solutions to one’s spiritual and other problems through the pages of Scripture. Also, reading and understanding Bible verses, with some memorisation if necessary.
Still another is contemplating on the wonders of God’s creation — the first and second heavens, as well as flora and fauna on earth, and everything else God created and made.
And still another is self-examination. Analysing one’s deeds relative to God’s commandments, how far one has fallen short and all the sins one must repent of and overcome, is also a form of meditation according to some Christians in the Church of God.
Through proper form of meditation, Christians discipline their minds to be positive and godly, even in the midst of trials and afflictions. To overcome hopelessness and despair, worry and anxiety.
The ultimate realities one must contemplate upon are not worldly concerns, but rather the sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the cross in order to save human beings and grant them eternal life, and even more, to perceive what immortality consists of.
Philippians 4:8–9 (ESV) says:
“Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honourable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me — practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.”
Romans 1:19–20 (ESV):
“For what can be known about God is plain to them. For His invisible attributes, namely, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse.”
2 Corinthians 10:5
“Taking every thought captive to the obedience of the Lord Jesus Christ.”