Tag Archives: Meditation

The Immense Importance of Talking to Yourself During these Coronavirus Days

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Photo by Ivan Oboleninov on

Walking through these days of Covid-19, we are wise to follow the example of David in Psalm 116:7. He wrote…

Return, O my soul, to your rest;
for the LORD has dealt bountifully with you. (ESV)

In this beautiful moment recorded for all history, the shepherd-King David…is talking to himself. And his message to himself (his soul) is powerful: “God has dealt bountifully with you, soul, in the past, and so you can rest now. You need not be anxious now, soul! Look at God’s record of faithfulness to you. He has taken care of you in the past, and he will do so in the future.”

This verse alone is worthy of our meditation – it’s one I’ve got in my memory verse pack – trying to get it deep into my heart. I hope you will do the same.

But my point here today is broader than the hopeful truth in Psalm 116:7. We often struggle in life because we are our own worst enemy – we don’t talk to ourselves, instead we let “ourselves” talk to us.

It wasn’t just David who practiced the spiritual discipline of talking to himself – the Sons of Korah did as well:

Why are you cast down, O my soul,
and why are you in turmoil within me?
Hope in God; for I shall again praise him,
my salvation and my God. Psalm 42:5, 6 (ESV)

In one of the greatest Christian books ever written (that’s a recommendation if you didn’t notice), Spiritual Depression, Martyn Lloyd Jones wrote this applying the truth in Psalm 42…

“I say that we must talk to ourselves instead of allowing ‘ourselves’ to talk to us! Do you realize what that means? I suggest that the main trouble in this whole matter of spiritual depression in a sense is this, that we allow our self to talk to us instead of talking to our self. Am I just trying to be deliberately paradoxical? Far from it. This is the very essence of wisdom in this matter. Have you realized that most of your unhappiness in life is due to the fact that you are listening to yourself instead of talking to yourself? Take those thoughts that come to you the moment you wake up in the morning. You have not originated them, but they start talking to you, they bring back the problems of yesterday, etc. Somebody is talking. Who is talking to you? Your self is talking to you.”

Lloyd-Jones, D. Martyn. Spiritual Depression: Its Causes and Cures (pp. 20-21). Zondervan. Kindle Edition.

I have told the story a few times, but briefly, it was years ago in college that I struggled greatly with anxiety and obsessive thoughts. And it was this biblical truth of talking to myself which God used to transform me.

Many of us are struggling with fear and anxiety in these days. We have the promises of God. We have reason for great hope. Let’s begin to remind ourselves of God’s faithful provision in times past. Let’s begin to talk to ourselves instead of letting ourselves talk to us.

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Posted by on March 19, 2020 in Uncategorized


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A Highly Motivating and Not-Often Considered Reason to Read and Meditate on Scripture Regularly

IMG_0234There are so many reasons to read and meditate on the Bible, but one that I had not much considered came clear to me some years ago when I was reading a book of essays called, Renewing Your Mind in a Secular World, edited by John Woodbridge.

The chapter in the book which grabbed my attention was written by the noted Psychiatrist Paul Meier and entitled Spiritual and Mental Health in the Balance.

As a budding psychiatrist, Meier was interested in the question of what makes someone mentally healthy. In other words, from a scientific point of view, what is it that contributes to emotional maturity, joy and peace, or, in other words, low levels of anxiety, bitterness and depression? To answer his questions, Meier did a research study of seminary students using a well-known psychological test called the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI) and an extensive spiritual life questionnaire.

From the MMPI, Meier could tell who was mentally and emotionally healthy, and he divided them into three groups:

Group A: Those with exceptionally good mental health and a high level of maturity

Group B: Those with apparently normal mental health and maturity

Group C: Those with statistically significant psychological conflict and emotional pain

After this, he did statistical analyses with the spiritual life questionnaire. He describes his findings:

“When the results came in, initially I was surprised and disappointed. Those seminary students who had been Christians for many years were only slightly healthier and happier than those who had accepted Christ in the past one or two years. The difference was not even statistically significant. However, my disappointment turned to joy. I learned one of the most valuable lessons of my life when I found the factor that made the difference. That factor was Scripture meditation. Students who practiced almost daily Scripture meditation for three years or longer were significantly healthier and happier than students who did not meditate on Scripture daily. Also, they were significantly healthier and happier than students who had meditated on Scripture daily for less than three years.”

He summarizes what the research taught him:

  1. Even though trusting Christ is all that is needed to obtain eternal life, experiencing the abundant life Christ promised (John 10:10) and experiencing the fruit of the Spirit (love, joy, peace) rather than bitterness, depression and anxiety are dependent upon a renewing of the mind.
  2. Renewing of the mind can come from various sources, such as confrontation by loving friends about personal blind-spots, therapy with a Christian professional counselor, conviction from the Holy Spirit, confrontation with scriptural principles in sermons or seminars, and daily meditation on Scripture.
  3. Renewing of the mind is a continual process, a progressive sanctification requiring continual, preferably daily, input from God’s Word.
  4. Daily meditation on Scripture, with personal application, is the most effective means of obtaining personal joy, peace, and emotional maturity.
  5. On the average, it takes about three years of daily Scripture meditation to bring about enough change in a person’s thought patterns and behavior to produce statistically superior mental health and happiness.
  6. None of the students in Group C (those with statistically significant psychological conflicts) were presently meditating on Scripture daily, although some were reading their Bibles regularly as a textbook for their classes.
  7. All of the students who had meditated on Scripture daily, or almost daily, for three years or longer were in Group A or Group B, with most being in Group A (superior in mental health, happiness, and maturity).

I guess all this shouldn’t be a surprise, as Psalm 1 and Joshua 1 tell us of the blessings that come on the person who meditates on the Word of God, but I hope a little science will also move you to give yourself to regular meditation on the Book of books.  In fact, consider joining us at Edgewood Community Church as we read through the New Testament in 2015.  We start in Matthew and will read a chapter each weekday (260 chapters in the New Testament, 261 weekdays in 2015) I’ll be posting a devotional of the chapter we’re reading each day, and I hope you’ll both read the chapter of the day and stop by the blog to meditate a little further.

Happy New Year everyone!



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Posted by on December 30, 2014 in Uncategorized


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