|Dr. Paul Meier writes:
To prepare myself as a Christian psychiatrist, I undertook college studies, an M.S.
degree in human physiology, an M.D. from medical school, psychiatric residency
training in two different programs, and theological course ware from two evangelical
seminaries. During those years I was equipped with many techniques and shortcuts
for bringing human beings relief from anxieties, depression, phobias, fears,
insecurities, and other kinds of emotional and physical pain. Among the many tools I
learned to use, by far the one that has been most valuable in helping people attain
spiritual well-being is Scripture meditation.
Meditation affects man’s whole being. Another reason is the fact man does not
innately contain God’s thoughts and ways. Again Meier writes:
Man is a totally depraved being, possessing selfish and ultimately self-destructive
thought patterns and behavior. Show me a natural man, untaught in God’s principles
and I’ll show you a natural man who suffers from emotional pain. I’ll show you a man
who experiences the guilt and discomfort of a God-vacuum. I’ll show you a man who is
unconsciously fighting and struggling for a sense of significance, using worldly ways
(e.g., sexual fantasy, materialism, power struggles, and prestige) in a vain attempt to
attain significance all of which will fail. The ways of the world bring temporary relief,
like band aids on open flesh wounds, but not ultimate relief from man’s inner
awareness of his insignificance apart from God.
(3) Because of what the meditation does—Reformation of the mind and life. Using the
words “meditate” and “remember” which is sometimes used as a synonym for
meditate (Ps. 63:6; 77:5-7; 119:55-56; 143:5-6), let’s note from Scripture some of the
reasons we should meditate on the Word.
• It renews or reprograms our minds, exchanges our ideas for God’s, so we can
begin to experience God’s ways (Isa. 55:8f; Rom. 12:1). Its the principle of GIGO or
VIVO (garbage in, garbage out, or value in, value out).
• It monitors what and how we are thinking and thus protects us against the
thinking and actions of the world (Ps. 1:1-2; Jer. 17:5-10). Many of our problems are
symptoms of underlying dynamic mental processes going on inside. Meditating on the
Word when done properly is designed to expose an often unconscious network of
defenses, anxieties, and sources of self-trust (Heb. 4:12; 2 Tim. 3:16).
• It enables and motivates us to walk after or according to God’s plan and
purposes rather than our own (Josh. 1:7f; Ps. 119:15).
• It produces spiritual stability and fruitfulness or success according to biblical
standards (Josh. 1:7f; Ps. 1:3).
• It is a means of focusing on and resting in the Lord which enables us to cling to
the Lord and find spiritual joy in the midst of suffering and testing (Ps. 63:6f; 77:6-12).
It becomes a means of protection against a mental attitude of self-pity and
discouragement (Ps. 4:4; 119:23, 78).
• It is a means of better knowing and understanding the Word which gives insight
to life itself (Ps. 49:3; 119:27).
• It warms the heart and keeps us close to God (Jer. 20:7-9).
• It is a means of worship and seeking God which is ultimately the highest goal of
meditation (Ps. 27:4; 77:12).
May we join the Psalmist who, rather than use the methods of the world to deal with
his pain, declared his commitment to meditation when he wrote:
Psalm 119:78 May the arrogant be ashamed, for they subvert me with a lie; But I shall
meditate on Thy precepts.