Dr. Smalley creatively revealed how meditating on God’s Word will impact our thoughts, beliefs, and behaviors. This wasn’t the first time I heard him talk about meditating on Scripture. When I met with Dr. Smalley to video tape the interviews for Secrets, he shared with me how he is continually memorizing Scripture verses and strives to meditate on them throughout the day. He has chosen key passages like Deuteronomy 6:4-8, Psalm 1, 1 Corinthians 13, Philippians 4:4-8, and James 1. He said he has memorized around 120 passages.
What does it mean to “meditate”? Well, if you know how to worry, then you know how to meditate. Meditating on something is simply going over it in your thoughts on a consistent basis. When we worry, we are simply mentally rehearsing our concerns…there is not enough money in the bank, my pay check won’t cover all the expenses this week, what if the insurance doesn’t cover that last doctor’s appointment… Well, I’m sure you get the idea. We’ve all done our share of worrying. Quite honestly, worry is allowing our concerns to consume our thoughts.
If you look up “meditate” in your Bible’s concordance, you will find several Scriptures that encourage us to meditate on God’s law, precepts, unfailing love, wonders, works, and promises. Dr. Smalley’s challenge is to memorize God’s truth and allow it to saturate our thoughts.
When I think of the difference this has made in my own life, I’m amazed. Worry wears me out emotionally. It produces frustration, stress, discouragement, and fear—and leads me to be self-absorbed. Those attitudes directly affect my behavior and negatively impact every relationship in my life. But meditating on God’s Word, unfailing love, and promises brings light and life, faith and hope, encouragement and peace. I’ve discovered that my attitudes and actions are a direct reflection of the meditation of my heart.
Dr. Smalley gave me a copy of his book, Change Your Hear Change Your Life. When he signed the book, he also wrote “Psalm 1.” May these verses encourage us!
He is like a tree planted by streams of water,
which yields its fruit in season
and whose leaf does not wither.
Whatever he does prospers.”