I am a people watcher. What a royal hoot to sit and just observe those around us. The mall is my favorite, so many folks going about their business. They carry bags, purses, pushing strollers and some are sitting on benches watching … ME! Have you ever observed someone walking just beyond you and talking and there is no apparent person with them, they just… talk. Strange yes, but we simply shrug it off.
Talking to oneself is extremely biblical, (within the context of sane reality) The Psalmist expresses in Psalm 119:15-16 “I meditate on Your precepts and consider Your ways. I delight in Your decrees; I will not neglect Your word.” (Emphasis mine) In the Hebrew, meditation means, ‘to rehearse in one’s mind, and to ponder.’ Yet it is more, it literally means to mutter, to converse with oneself. Those of ancient Israel would be found working in the fields, or atop a hill watching their herd all the while, they were muttering to themselves. This was a way of life. They would recite aloud to themselves the ways of God and His word. Reinforcing and strengthening his understanding by meditating on verses over and over. Speaking God’s word (out loud) reinforces it in our heart, allowing our heart to hear what our head is thinking.
Rick Warren profoundly, yet in simple terms wrote, “Meditation is focused thinking. It takes serious effort. You select a verse and reflect on it over and over again… if you know how to worry, you already know how to meditate.” (Purpose Driven Life) He continues with “No other habit can do more to transform your life and make you more like Jesus than daily reflection on scripture.” What we are doing is taking the Word, ingesting it and digesting it, allowing it to become a part of us. A really poor analogy is that of a cow chewing his cud. Throughout the day he works to gather, bite and chew the grass, then later as he relaxes he begins to re-chew the grass. He brings it up from his gut. I believe God wants us to have His word in our gut, pass our head, deep-deep down. I’ve known folks who when they speak you can tell God’s word is so deep within them, their gut is FULL of God’s word.
Our society and our schedules give very little time to think or reflect. Let alone talk it out loud. We are conditioned by our culture to NOT think, (generally speaking) resulting in the inability to reason effectively. One of the biggest contributors to this is TV and movies. The average scene is 3 seconds (SECONDS!) We are conditioned to think and jump from one thing to another so quickly that in a sense we have to be stimulated and entertained to pay attention. Sadly we take this into our relationship with Jesus and His word. Most things do NOT come in 3 seconds, they take time, time to ponder, muse and mutter over. This week, as we sit with God’s word, reading it methodically, may we take the time to THINK and SPEAK it, (again and again). Holy Spirit we invite You to rub it in our heart, effectively causing it to become a part of us.
So, YES… talk to yourself… keep on muttering!
In Him, DeDe (“Let us consider how we may spur one another on towards love and good deeds.” – Hebrews 10:24)