In the world of today, we hear a lot about meditation, mindfulness, and just general thoughtful living. Many may be quick to see those things in opposition to Christianity and what the Bible teaches, but that isn’t necessarily the case. Meditation and mindfulness are actually very Christian practices when you look at how they are taught in the Bible. So, what does the Bible say about Christian meditation and Christian mindfulness, and how are the two different?
When the Bible talks about meditation in a Christian sense, it has to do with focusing your mind on something, usually on Scripture or God Himself. In fact, Scripture places a very big importance on this idea of meditating on Scripture as outlined in Psalm 1.
Psalm 1:1-3 says, “How blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked, nor stand in the path of sinners, nor sit in the seat of scoffers! But his delight is in the law of the Lord, and in His law he meditates day and night. He will be like a tree firmly planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in its season and its leaf does not wither; and in whatever he does, he prospers.”
Here, the Psalmist places such a high priority on meditating on Scripture that they write that it is the key to true prosperity. Similarly, Psalm 77:12 says, “I shall remember the deeds of the Lord; Surely I will remember Your wonders of old. I will meditate on all Your work and muse on Your deeds.” This verse speaks about meditating specifically on what God has done and the work that He is doing now. Doing so helps you to increase your faith and to cultivate your relationship with God.
So, in the Bible, meditation is an intentional focusing and pondering upon God’s Word and His works. However, how does this differ from mindfulness in the Bible?
The Bible does indeed tell us to be mindful people. Mindfulness can be thought of as being present in the moment and inclining your thoughts to be focused on what is going on around you. A good example of this in the Bible is in Ephesians 5:15-17. It says, “Therefore be careful how you walk, not as unwise men but as wise, making the most of your time, because the days are evil. So then do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is.”
The Bible places importance on mindfulness because if we are not mindful in the present moment, we cannot act accordingly to what God is calling us to do. If we let ourselves go into a sort of autopilot mode, so to speak, we miss what God is doing at the moment and we can become numb to the voice of His Spirit in our lives.
So then, let us be people who both meditate upon God’s Word and works, and let us be mindful people who follow the will of God in every moment. If you want more information or help on either of these practices, check out our Amen app. Download it from the App Store today!