In Philippians 4:8 Paul exhorts his readers to think deeply about good things. He was encouraging what we might call Christian meditation, which George Swinnock (1627-1673) defined as “a serious applying the mind to some sacred subject, till the affections be warmed and quickened, and the resolution heightened and strengthened thereby, against what is evil, and for that which is good.”
This is a key to godliness, and in my opinion, a very unpopular one. For whatever reason, (though I could propose several), many Americans struggle to slow down and focus on something, let alone the right kind of something, and rarely the best something – God. Nevertheless, if we want to grow as Christians, we’ll need our minds renewed so that we will love God more, and our minds will not be renewed without some serious thinking.
Richard Baxter, the famous Puritan pastor, was so convinced of the importance of Christian meditation that he wrote “If, by this means [Christian meditation], thou dost not find an increase of all thy graces, and dost not grow beyond the stature of common Christians, and art not made more serviceable in thy place, and more precious in the eyes of all discerning persons; if thy soul enjoy not more communion with God, and thy life be not fuller of comfort, and hast it not readier by thee at a dying hour: then cast away these directions, and exclaim against me forever as a deceiver.”