Your deep insights and revelations come from spending minutes, that turn into hours, that turn into days, that turn into weeks. It’s once the truth of Scripture has been so branded on your heart that you finally begin to draw out the deep meanings of the text. This is why, very practically speaking, I encourage folks to memorize chunks of Scripture. Because the hours, days, and maybe even weeks and years it takes to commit passages to memory will have an eternal impact on your life with God.
Meditation is an often-neglected aspect of Christianity but in the introduction to the longest book in the Bible, the Psalmist tells us that this practice is a vital part of what true “blessedness” looks like. Psalm 1 begins, “Blessed is the man…[whose] delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night” (vv. 1-2).
Now, there may be many reasons why we pull back at this word but let me state two. First, often folks associate mediation with eastern, non-Christian religions. So, in an effort not to accidentally do what is un-Christian, we end up intentionally failing to do what is a good Christian practice.
A second hesitation I often come across is far more practical. Many simply tell me, “Matt, I just don’t know how to meditate on God’s word. I don’t even know what that means. I wouldn’t know how to begin.” However, I’m confident—whether you know it or not—you do know how to meditate on God’s word. And I can say that with certainty because I’m sure you know how to hold a grudge.
Holding Holy Grudges
Think about it. What are you doing when you’re holding a grudge? You’re constantly throwing yourself back into whatever the instance was that offended you. All your spare, quiet moments are consumed with bitterness that eventually turns to rage and hatred because you’re constantly thinking about the offense.
Whether you’re mowing the lawn or doing the dishes, you’re imagining the person that upset you and what you’d say to them now if you had the chance. You probably win every argument you have about it in the shower. You spend so much time thinking about the instance you’re able to pull out every little detail of the offense, or the offender, that you can remember the whole interaction with vivid clarity.
This is what we ought to be doing with God’s word.
Biblical meditation is filling your mind and heart with God’s word. It’s swishing it around and around again in your head until the wakes of His word splash down into the depths of your heart. It’s like thoroughly chewing a piece of meat before you swallow it so that you know you’ve got all the rich flavor out of it.
And when you do this, one of the most interesting things you’ll find is that your deepest and most meaningful insights about Scripture don’t come from reading it once or spending a passing moment with the verse of the day. No, your deep insights and revelations come from spending minutes, that turn into hours, that turn into days, that turn into weeks. It’s once the truth of Scripture has been so branded on your heart that you finally begin to draw out the deep meanings of the text.