Should Christians Practice Meditation?

In my quest for wellness, one of the most surprising things I have learned is that stress can have a profound negative impact on your health. In this post, I share several strategies for reducing that negative impact, but today I wanted to expand on one of the more controversial recommendations.

Meditation

In nearly every article or book about stress management, meditation is included as a way to reduce stress. However, meditation tends to induce very negative feelings in many people, particularly Christians. I have seen many comments from the Christian community mocking meditation as being silly, or even outright stating that it is mystical and evil. Christianity today calls it “dangerous.

 

Christians meditation

I avoided considering meditation for many years due to this wariness. After all, meditation is a wicked, dangerous, new age thing, right?

Finally, I decided that instead of listening to popular opinion, I should probably look into it more deeply myself. Because before we say that Christians shouldn’t practice meditation, shouldn’t we know exactly what it is we’re speaking against?

Psychology Today defines it this way: “Meditation is the practice of turning your attention to a single point of reference.”

Hmmm. When you put it that way, it sounds quite harmless. In fact, as I read that definition and others, it all sounded very similar to something else…one of my favorite Bible verses:

You will keep in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on You because he trusts you. -Isaiah 26:3

“whose mind is stayed on you…” doesn’t that sound a whole lot like having your attention focused on a single point of reference? And, the Bible tells us this is how we gain peace, which is usually one of the purported goals of meditation.

Psychology today gives us 20 science-based ways in which meditation is good for us…isn’t it awesome when science proves the very things that the Lord has already commanded us?

Taking back meditation.

The danger isn’t in meditation, it’s in what you choose to meditate on.

Instead of looking at meditation as being a negative thing, I propose that we instead take it back to its roots.

As Robert J. Morgan says, “meditation is not new and it is not new age. God, not the gurus, devised it, and it’s based on the Bible, not on Buddha.”

So many good things that the Lord created have been perverted by man’s sinfulness, and meditation is just another thing on that list. Yes, when most experts mention meditation, they are taking the Lord out of it. They are generally speaking of focusing on something worldly, or even a false religion.

It doesn’t have to be that way, and I vote we take it back.

Charles Spurgeon said,

There is no exercise more out of fashion, nowadays, than meditation! Reading is the gathering together of our food, but meditation is the chewing of the cud, the digesting, and the assimilating of the truth of God! I quarry out the truth when I read, but I smelt the ore and get the pure gold out of it when I meditate!

Meditate on the Lord and His word.

What does the Bible say about meditation?

Colossians 3:2 says this, “set your mind on things above, not on earthly things.”

What wisdom! Modern, new-age meditation focuses on earthly things. God’s word calls us to set our mind on things above. How do we set our mind on something? Through meditating on it.

In fact, I was shocked by just how much the Bible has to say about meditation! God’s word calls us specifically to meditate on certain things, both by using the word specifically and/or by referring to the concept of it.

Here are just a few examples of what the Bible calls us to meditate upon:

  • God (Isaiah 26:3)
  • God’s word (Psalm 1:2, Joshua 1:8, Psalm 119:148)
  • God’s works (Psalm 145:5)
  • Things that are true, noble, just, pure, lovely, of good report, of virtue, praiseworthy (Phil 4:8)

Give it a try!

So, listen to the experts and add meditation into your daily practices. But don’t focus on earthly things. Focus on things above.

I will leave you with this final verse:

“I will meditate on the glorious splendor of Your majesty, And on Your wondrous works.” -Psalm 145:4

Friends, how different our lives and perspectives would be if we truly spent time each day meditating upon the Lord and the glorious splendor of His majesty!

Related Articles & Resources

Christian meditation

Comments

  1. says

    What a great article. God has actually been bringing meditation back to mind lately and I listened to a fantastic Christian teaching on it the other night that I discovered when I was cleaning out my computer that my father in law had given me. One of the definitions used was to mumble over and over to oneself and that meditation is a way of chewing the Word and becoming a mature Christian who can handle meat not just milk. Sharing this one facebook for sure!

    • Crystal Brothers says

      Thank you Terri! I’m so glad you found teh post informative. Yes, exactly–focusing on Christ. That’s all we need.

  2. says

    Cool article. I’m glad that you are trying to convince Christians that meditation is a good thing. Because it undeniably is. Interestingly, if you study the history of Christianity, meditation was a large part of Christian spiritual practice and a very popular topic in Christian literature for most of the church’s history. It is only in the last few hundred years that Christianity began to turn away from meditation as a regular part of the religion. It is truly unfortunate, because meditation leads to mental poise, strength, and control. Qualities that allow people to be much more effective witnesses and better human beings, in general. One of my personal hero’s of Christianity, St. Francis of Assisi, was a proponent and practicioner of meditation and one of the greatest examples of one-pointedness of mind fixated on God. “Therefore, let us desire nothing else, let us wish for nothing else, let nothing else please us and delight us save our Creator and Redeemer and Savior, alone true God.”

    • Crystal Brothers says

      Yes! I completely agree! It’s so sad that Christians have allowed other religions to steal it from us. It’s amazing how vehemently many Christian teachers speak against it when it’s all throughout the Bible. I, too, love that quote, thank you so much for sharing!

  3. says

    I remembered “meditate on the Word” when you started out your article. There will always be Christians trying to convince you this and that is wrong. Many Christians won’t practice yoga. It is a form of movement/exercise. Just don’t chant anything which is anti-Christian. Always look to the Word and follow your heart. Get your Concordance out and find your passages. Psalm 2 But his delight is in the law of the LORD, And in His law he meditates day and night. Good article.

    • Crystal Brothers says

      Thank you! Yes, it’s so important for us to go straight to the Word of God in these things.

I love to hear your feedback and value your thoughts! All I ask is that we remain respectful and civil, even when we disagree. Thanks so much for reading. I appreciate you!

Thank you for joining in the discussion!