The topic of taking thoughts captive--and having healthy minds is a vital one in a world rife with anxiety. I first heard of sound thinking in the study True Woman 201, where Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth and Mary Kassian talked about having a sophron (or self-controlled) mind (which Nancy Wolgemuth also addressed in her fantastic book Adorned).
Reclaiming the Lost Art of Biblical Meditation is another piece of the puzzle in pursueing sound thinking. Why we should meditate is something a lot of us may have never thought of, and this book is here to address that topic.
Book Description [official]
Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Your sight. — Psalm 19:14
Do you long to deepen your intimacy with the Lord? To find a sense of soul-steadying peace? To develop emotional strength? Then you will need to pause long enough to be still and know He is God. Trusted Pastor Robert Morgan leads us through a journey into biblical meditation, which, he says, is thinking Scripture—not just reading Scripture or studying Scripture or even thinking about Scripture—but thinking Scripture, contemplating, visualizing, and personifying the precious truths God has given us.
The practice is as easy and portable as your brain, as available as your imagination, as near as your Bible, and the benefits are immediate. As you ponder, picture, and personalize God’s Word, you begin looking at life through His lens, viewing the world from His perspective. And as your thoughts become happier and holier and brighter, so do you.
One part of this book I really liked was in chapter 1. Robert Morgan says that our minds without Christ are dark places, and when we become saved, Christ redeems them, bringing light in. But, as he goes on to say, even Christians still struggle with shadows, and that's where meditation comes in. In another good analogy, Morgan likened meditating on God's Word to fresh water circulating through our mind. Thinking about God's Word, how to walk it out in life, and staying our hearts in anxious times on his character and promises, all help us to keep thinking in a way that is spiritually healthy. Instead of being overrun by anxiety, we are anchored to truth, something that, as I think a lot and can be melancholic, is a really good reminder.
At the end of the book, there are 10 days of meditation guides about certain passages of Scripture. I think this is an invaluable section, as it gives you something tangible to get started with before you branch out on your own.
I appreciated Morgan's last chapter about memorization as well. Memorization, I think, can really help with meditation, because while you're lying in bed, or driving to work, you've got that Scripture right there in your mind, and you can pull it out and think about it. If you're ever in a situation without a Bible in hand, you still have with you--memorization sometimes was the only Bible persecuted or imprisoned Christians can have, and it's always good to store it up in our hearts so we are never at a loss for fellowship with God.
This book is written from a conservative biblical perspective, which really helps in tackling issues like meditation, which can often stray into the weird. If you've never thought about biblical meditation, this book gives a great introduction to the topic, though there are some aspects that I would love to continue to research on more in-depth. I also appreciated it, because reading a book about the Lord encouraged me to think about him more--stories are fun, but sometimes I need a recalibration. I had read the first part of the book and then let it sit for a few weeks before I finished it, but finishing the last three chapters over the weekend, as well as working on this review, helped me lift my mind to things above.
I received a copy of this book from the publisher as part of the BookLooks blogger program. All opinions expressed are my own.