Do you want to be all that God has intended you to be? Then prepare your mind.
“For as he thinks in his heart, so is he.” – Proverbs 23:7 NKJV
One of my kids once asked me if I had any information on meditation; he wanted to learn how to do it. So, I quickly gave him a short dissertation on the discipline of meditation and then gave him a book that covered the concept and how-to of meditation. I then promptly patted myself on the back for my exemplary parenting skills (tongue in cheek). I realize now that I missed the point – meditation is not to be looked at as a “thing to do” but as a “way to live”.
I have recently revisited my ideas around meditation, and in particular, meditation as a spiritual discipline after re-reading (for the third time) the James Allen classic “As a Man Thinketh“. And then it dawned on me, we meditate continually, we just don’t realize it.
Meditation is nothing but dwelling on the thoughts of our hearts.
Let’s do a little exercise:
1) Clear your mind, think of nothing for 60 seconds.
2) Find a single happy thought, focus on it, and think of nothing else for 60 seconds.
After 60 seconds how do you feel? Happy? Relaxed? Maybe peaceful?
3) Find a single angry thought, focus on it, and think of nothing else for 60 seconds.
After 60 seconds how do you feel? Angry? Tense? Troubled?
As you reflect on the past 3 minutes, what happened to your spirit? If you’re like most people, you will see that the things you focus on have an impact on your state of being. This is the basic principle behind meditation.
We are, and continually become, those thoughts that persist in our hearts and minds.
If we fill our minds with ungodly words, music, images, movies, etc., then our lives will gravitate to that which is ungodly. Or in other words: “garbage in, garbage out”. Alternatively, if we fill our minds with upright thoughts, good things, and the Word of God, our lives will levitate to a higher level of being. The point is that our minds are always thinking, and those things which we dwell on will shape our thoughts, our actions and every aspect of our lives.
Unconscious thinking, without focus or purpose, is what I call “wild meditation”. It’s like a vine that is growing out of control, choking the plants around it while bearing minimal fruit. This type of meditation happens whether we admit or not, and is spritually unproductive and ultimately damaging. We should rather have control of our minds and discipline our minds in righteous thinking – such thinking nurtures our own spirits and those around us.
While many spiritual disciplines acknowledge this truth, the Christian Bible has a wellspring of knowledge and inspiration when it comes to shaping our minds to become what God has intended each of us to become. It starts by the training of, or as we find in the Book of Romans, the transforming of our minds.
We will explore the other Biblical references to the idea that you are what you think in Part 2.