For some this word conjures up images of far East Mysticism, hocus pocus spirits and demonic influences. For others, meditation is a simple practice to help the self both physically and mentally. And finally, the third group that sees meditation as a spiritual, mental, and physical practice. While some Christians may be wary of meditation because of its recent popularity with the New Age movement, meditation is actually an ancient practice Christians utilized for centuries. The Bible mentions the word meditate 23 times. The Bible talks about meditating on the law, mentions those who find quiet places to meditate alone, meditate with their heart, etc. So clearly meditation is a very Biblical practice.
I think one of the Devil’s biggest traps for people today in America is to get them to rush life making quick choices and judgments with little thought to what they’re doing. Anytime we slow down, relax, think things through deeply, or even just stop to appreciate life, these things are of God. A big part of meditation is grace and gratitude.
One type of meditation is to clear the mind and focus on the breath. What does this have to do with grace and gratitude? Well, our brains constantly want to tell or pursue a story. It’s very difficult for us to clear our minds and just be. When we try to do this we often fail. This can frustrate us and lead us to give up. However, if we continue pursuing this type of meditation, we get better and better at it. We learn that drifting off/unfocusing is ok. We give ourselves grace which leads us to better focus in the future. This is a practice of continued grace for ourselves which leads us to more easily give others grace. Resting in quiet also leads us to peace and gratitude for life as it is. We learn that it is ok to just be. This helps us slow down in life so that we may better make decisions and go about our day in a healthy emotional state.
The only way I can see meditation be a negative is if someone fixates on negative thoughts or emotions. These things can be evil. But those who have Christ inside them and have a good understanding of the Bible should be able to work through these things and let Christ speak to them through quiet time. Just look at Jesus. Consistently through his ministry he sought quiet time away from others to spend with his Father, God. Let us follow his example and enjoy the benefits of hearing from God through meditation.
(Originally published in the newspaper The Hespirian Beacon on 10/28/19)