I’m a thinker…not that I think great thoughts that become ideas which turn into some kind of invention that changes the world or anything.
I just think. Alot. About lots of different things. Sometimes the thoughts are fleeting, lasting only a moment. However, sometimes those thoughts turn into meditation, which is, according to dictionary.com, “continued or extended thought; reflection; contemplation.”
I tend to meditate on worldy things, especially books, movies, and TV shows. I can discuss a good movie or book or show for a couple of hours with someone who is just as into it as I am and enjoy every second of it. I have several friends who “get into” books, movies, and shows as much or than I. One such friend is Vince Rice. You can read his musing on his website, and I highly encourage you to do as at your earliest convenience. He’s a great writer and so insightful.
I recently decided I was going to give the show “Mad Men” a try. I had heard it is well-written with great acting, and since nothing else was appealing on Netflix at the time, I gave it a go.
And I got sucked in to the world of advertising on Madison Avenue in the ’60s. The 60’s have always been a time that I have found interesting for one reason or another. Thus, I found “Mad Men” intriguing. The fashion, the food, the manner speaking, not to mention the world of advertising…all of it was intriguing. So I kept watching.
But what I ended up watching was men degrading women at every turn (which I understand for the time period is probably quite accurate and have subsequently decided that God was correct in NOT placing me in that era because I would have been revolting at every turn), men unsatisfied with their lives so they look for satisfaction in their jobs, alcohol, and the arms of women who are not their wives, and women who are ok being “the other woman.”
And these were the things I was meditating on.
Until last week.
In my morning time with the Lord I read Psalm 19:14, which says,”Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Your sight, O Lord, my rock and my Redeemer.”
I read it over and over and over again. Here I was meditating on fictional characters having affairs and making sexual jokes about women. I’m gonna take a stab in dark and say that that stuff probably ain’t pleasing the Lord.
When I am meditating on things with a heavenly purpose, on things that the Lord would deem acceptable, my entire outlook on life is different. My attitude is better, and I am able to handle difficult situations in a more loving, less selfish way because I am dwelling with the One who gives me the ability to do or be those things.
But when I put garbage into my head and meditate on it, that’s exactly what will come out. Straight up garbage. My words will be unkind, my thoughts will be even more unkind, my actions will be selfish. I’ll be hard to live with. I won’t like myself, much less expect anybody else to like me.
From the beginning to the end of the Bible we are instructed to meditate on things of God. The Bible is filled with examples of people who did just that.It is also filled with examples of people who did the opposite. And what we see is when they took their eyes, then their minds, and then their hearts off of the things of God, bad things happened.
David is a great example. In 2 Samuel 11 David decided to stay in Jerusalem instead of going out to battle with the army, as he should have done. While taking an evening stroll on his roof he sees a woman bathing. Does he go inside, protecting the woman’s privacy and keeping himself from at the very least lusting after her? Nope. I’m going to guess that he watched her because he decided she was beautiful. He thinks of her and his desire for her. She is sent for and David’s desire is fulfilled. She conceives and David, after several attempts at some trickery that fail, finally has success after ordering her husband to be put on the front lines of battle, was killed.
David took his eyes off of God. He allowed himself to meditate on someone that was not his to meditate on, and in doing so, fell into sin.
This is not unlike me and I’m gonna guess many of you. Instead of meditating on things that are “good” for me, I meditate on things that aren’t so good for me. That’s not to say that thinking critically about movies, books, or shows is a bad thing. It’s not. However, when those things have questionable subject matter and I can’t NOT dwell on them…then it’s not a good thing to put in my head…and subsequently, my heart.
If my desire is for the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart to be pleasing in the sight of Lord, then what goes in must also be pleasing. For what goes in, comes out.