Meditate on Scripture (without Being Weird)

meditateMany evangelicals shy away from the word “meditation” because of its association with eastern religions, but it should be noted that meditation is taught in several places throughout Scripture (Joshua 1:8, Psalm 1:2, Psalm 119:148). While it would be strange to unroll a yoga mat and light some incense anytime we decided to open our Bibles, we would do well to redeem the practice of meditation rather than abandoning it. Deuteronomy 6:6–8 gives us some instructions about how meditation ought to work.

These verses impress upon us the depth and richness of Scripture. The point is clear: you can think about (meditate on) Scripture all day and still find new things to learn. It’s important to think about the things of God, because you become what you think about. (Click to tweet) Someone put it like this:

Watch your thoughts; they become words.

Watch your words; they become actions.

Watch your actions; they become habits.

Watch your habits; they become character.

Watch your character; it becomes your destiny.

—author unknown

So what’s the difference between meditation and thinking?

Not much. Thinking carries the implication of a single possible conclusion, that some ultimate answer or idea is being sought after. Meditation has a different endgame. It’s a series of thoughts intended to affect the mind that holds them.

Meditation doesn’t really need any set-aside time or space, though you certainly could set aside time each day if you prefer. Meditation is mobile. It travels with you wherever you go, and slides into the spaces between your day’s major events. Look at all the times and places that God directs us to think about his words in Deuteronomy 6:7.

  • And you shall recite them to your children (with your family)
  • And you shall talk about them at the time of your living in your house (as you relax)
  • And at the time of your going on the road (on your commute)
  • And at the time of your lying down (as you get ready for bed)
  • And at the time of your rising up (as you get ready for work)

Thankfully, as you go about your day, Faithlife is always with you—the world’s largest study Bible, ready on your phone or tablet. If you need a verse to meditate on, may we recommend our Verse of the Day? And if you’d like to know more about what the verse means, the Faithlife Study Bible has three layers of study notes for you to go as deep as you’d like.

We’d like to know: How do you keep Scripture in the front of your mind each day?


    • Renee Bryant Clark says

      Loving this article. Loving listening to Pandora praise and worship and reading Greg's posts while I am right beside him. One of those weird & comforting things that makes our 31.5 yrs of marriage and 3 years of dating distinctively ours.

  1. Stephanie Graham Coulter says

    Print out a verse and keep it by my computer monitor all day or week until I have it memorized.

  2. says

    Using the word "reflection" might be more appropriate than "meditation". Reflection is a higher level way of thinking both creatively and critically. It's a skill that needs to be developed in the process of making disciples. I'm surprised that Romans 12:2 wasn't cited in this introductory piece – "don't be conformed to this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good, acceptable and perfect."

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