Meditation, A Matter of the Heart
No, I’m not going middle-eastern religion on you. One of the first thoughts that comes to our mind when we hear the word “meditate” is seeing people sit with their legs crossed making weird noises. When someone talks of meditation we normally tune them out because we just aren’t interested in it.
In the Bible you will find that God often uses meditation with our words. Psalm 19:14 says, “Let thewords of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O Lord, my strength, and my redeemer.” You can see that before the words are spoken, the heart meditated on whatever words were going to be said.
Again it says in Psalm 49:3, “My mouth shall speak of wisdom; and the meditation of my heartshall be of understanding.” How often have you ever thought about something so much that you couldn’t wait to tell someone? That is what this verse is teaching. When you meditate, you will speak what meditation taught you.
The word “meditate” means: “to contemplate, think, consider, ponder or mull something over.” In other words, when a person meditates, they are actually thinking about the matters of their heart. You quietly sit there and mull over something you heard in the day, and before long you start repeating what you thought about. That is what God is talking about in Matthew 12:34 when He says, “…for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh.” Whatever you think about (meditate on) eventually comes out in the form of words.
Ladies, this is why it is so important to have the right thoughts because we won’t say things unless we’ve thought on them and meditated on them, then it comes out. You hear gossip, then you think about it, and before long you start repeating what you heard. You hear something bad about someone, and you start to think about it. Before long your thoughts turn into destructive words as you tell someone else what you have been thinking. Do you think Christ would be thrilled with those words?
God gives us the things we should think about in Philippians 4:8 when He says, “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.” You can imagine that if your thoughts were only on the things from this verse, then the words you say would only be words that would build and not destroy. Let me give you some suggestions about this thought.
1. Don’t allow yourself to think on things about others that you would not want them to think on about you.
As ladies we can hear things and not let them rest even in our minds. Men tend to forgive and quickly forget, but we know the saying that women forgive but they don’t forget is probably truer than we’d like it to be. We should always be quick to give someone else the benefit of the doubt. You would hope that others would do that for you, so do the same for them.
Again, as ladies we have a tendency to “share” our concern for others. Recently, I was talking with someone who asked where the fine line is in saying something you don’t mean as gossip and actually doing the gossiping. That is such a fine line because our concern can always lead to “sharing” more than needs to be shared. I just read a quote the other day that fits this so well. “A tongue has no bones, but is strong enough to break a heart. Be careful with your words!” Gossip is something you don’t want others to meditate on about you, so don’t do it to them.
3. Be sure to read your Bible on a daily basis.
I talk often about the importance of your walk with God, reading your Bible and praying. Nothing will help you meditate on the things of the Lord more than meditating on His Word. I have a better chance of doing right and staying in God’s will the more I stay in His Word. His Word will guide you, convict you and keep you close to Him.
4. Take one verse each day and dwell on what it says.
So often I will claim a verse when I know I’m not really grasping the whole truth and meditate on it throughout the day. I find that the more I meditate on it throughout the day, and the more I allow the Holy Spirit to work on me about the verse, the more I feel I learn from it.
5. Ask God to control your thought life.
As humans we gravitate to the negative quicker than we do the positive. If I want to have right thoughts throughout the day, then I have to pray and ask God to help me to think on the good things in life.
6. Don’t allow yourself to say anything of which Philippians 4:8 would not approve.
7. Purposely find good in every person and situation, and dwell on that good.
I have to admit, there are some people in my life that aren’t my favorite people with which to spend time. I’ve learned that with some of those people I must find the good in them. I know, sometimes it’s very hard to find the good in someone, but there is good in everyone. I have known a certain lady for many years, and every time I see her the first thing she does is tell me about how horrible her life is going. There are times I can’t wait to get away from her because she’s so down on life. But, I can tell you that she’s a master at a few different things I don’t know how to do, and if I can eventually get her focused on those things I learn so much from her. There are going to be times in your life when you will go through very hard situations. I can tell you by experience that there is good in those times if you look hard enough. Decide you will dwell on the positive and not on the negative of others.
Let me encourage you to take that word “meditate” and really think on the words you say loudly or softly. You know there are times when we talk without saying words. Our actions can speak louder than our words. I want my words to be full of wisdom and the meditation of my heart to be understanding as Psalm 49:3 says, but to accomplish this I have to purpose in my heart to meditate on God’s Word.