It has often been said that "we are what we eat." I concur that we are also what we think! Just as the quality of food and drink put into our bodies will help to determine our health and longevity, so also, the quality of our thoughts will determine the type of people that we are and will become. Proverbs 23:7 says it clearly, "For as he thinks in his heart, so is he..." I find that I struggle with this area of my life. Let me give you an example. I love true crime stories. As a girl, I loved reading Nancy Drew and yes, The Hardy Boys! I love mystery, and the idea of putting the bad guys away. Maybe I should've been an investigator. Anyway, I enjoy watching news accounts which are shared regularly on the internet such as "48 Hours Mystery" and "Dateline." These shows chronicle various crimes and mysteries that often times surround the prosecution of the accused. I find them very fascinating. But, if we are what we think, is that really going to spur me on to deeper knowledge of Chirst? Philippians 4:8-9 gives us the recipe for our thoughts and for what we should focus on. There we read, "Finally brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy, meditate on these things."
William McDonald in his commentary on the whole Bible helps us define these words more clearly.
true-genuine and real
noble-honorable and morally attractive
just-righteous towards God and man
pure-high moral character
lovely-admirable or agreeable
good report-good repute or fair sounding
praiseworthy-something which deserves to be commended
This is what we are to meditate on! This is what we are to think on and mull in our minds. Striking, right? Meditate means "to care for, to attend to, practice, be diligent in, to ponder and imagine." (Vine's) This definition seems to show us that this idea of meditation will require time and diligence. It will require us to give up some things which might even be okay things, but which are not leading us closer to Christ. I believe that one way we can do this is by scripture memory. We can also do that by listening to good, Bible based radio programs, studying the word in small groups, and individually, etc. As we hide the word of God in our hearts, we are established. We really DO need to be careful what we meditate on!
I Timothy 4:15 says, "Mediate on these things; give yourself entirely to them, that your progress may be evident to all." "These things" refers to, among other things, "reading, exhortation and doctrine." If we are faithful to read the Bible and other books which are Biblically based, exhort others by spurring them on in their walk with Christ, and study Bible doctrines, how much time will we have left for things which don't meet the standards of Phil 4:8-9 and I Timothy 4? Just some thoughts to ponder...(and meditate on)...