For years I’ve concluded my daily worship time with, among other things, Psalm 19:4: “Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart Be acceptable in Your sight, O Lord, my strength and my Redeemer.” It seems to me a wise pledge and helps me combat “lip slips” and wayward thinking. However, on occasion I have used the word thoughts in place of meditation(s). And while it may not seem like a big deal to interchange the two, I recently determined that is not the case.
Our thoughts run the gamut of stuff that moves through our brains, from choosing to pursue a medical career to what I want for lunch. A lot of inconsequential or “no-big-deal” stuff falls into the thought category, too. While the Lord cares deeply about us in all respects, thoughts of which shoes to wear or if I’ll go rotate my tires tomorrow or next week are likely not high on his list of concerns for us as His children.
But meditations are a different matter. They speak to things that are important to us and have the potential to impact us or the lives of others in significant ways. Meditations are not passing thoughts. They linger. They take time and energy to concentrate on. Relationships, finances, spiritual growth, moral choices…even fantasies I play out in my imagination are good examples of meditations.
The implications of some meditations are more serious than others and some are just wasted time and brain power. Prolonged thoughts of bad things happening to that “bad” person you know are vengeful and wrong. Constant fantasizing about a different life or inserting yourself into a story are wasteful.
We’re told in Romans 12:2 that we are to be transformed by the renewing of our minds. The inference is that we will renew our minds on the truths of God and those are found in our Bibles, sound preaching and teaching of Scriptural truths, and Christian literature that is faithful to orthodox Christian doctrine.
Psalm 1:1-2 points us to a valid source for our meditations:
Blessed is the one who does not walk in step with the wicked or stand in the way that sinners take or sit in the company of mockers, but whose delight is in the law of the Lord, and who meditates on his law day and night.
Armed with this clearer understanding and appreciation for meditations, I am careful to strive to ensure they are acceptable to the Lord, along with my words, every day.
Now…what will I have for dinner?