The 2 sides of meditation: Choices, choices
I find it interesting that Psalm 1 shows both sides of a person who truly wants to know and please God. There's a "not" side—what that person does not do—and a positive side—what that person does do. Every choice we make implies a negative choice, or a turning away from something else. If I choose to do one thing, I am choosing not to do something else with my time. If I choose to think about something, I am refusing to give mental space-time to thinking about something else. There is a turning away from and a turning to something else.
Choices. Choices. This requires discernment and discretion. We often deceive ourselves into thinking that our choices are time-management decisions, and we say, "I don't have time for ____________." But really every decision is a judgment call—a determining and proving of our priorities. The issue is not lack of time but one of importance or value. What are we choosing to make top priorities in our lives?
That is why meditation on God's Word is so vital. We don't even realize that every choice of time expenditure is a judgment call. Without saturating ourselves in God's Word, we can think we're making OK choices when we're really not. In other words, we don't have the moral goods within ourselves to discern right from wrong and to make good judgment calls.
By choosing to meditate on God's Word, we are acknowledging that we don't know what is best and that we can't make right choices apart from the wisdom and illumination of God. He has spoken so that we would come to know what is right and best. But will we avail ourselves of it? That is the most important choice before us every day.
In Psalm 1:1, look at what the person who delights in and meditates on God's Word turns away from:
Walking in the counsel of the ungodly
Standing in the path of sinners
Sitting in the seat of the scornful
How much of our media time—social media, movie entertainment, gaming, TV, news, etc.—is actually putting ourselves under one or all of those three categories: counsel/worldview of the ungodly, the path/choices sinners make, and the seat/comfortable lifestyle of scorners and scoffers? It's important for us to engage our minds and think about that. We may think that it won't affect us, but let's not kid ourselves. What we spend our time on, what we allow into our minds, hearts, and lives does affect us. Those activities and the mental messages that are promoted through them are shaping us all the time.
Our own sin nature is already given to wrong thinking focused on self. And the world's ungodly thinking is diametrically opposed to God's truth; that is the definition of ungodly. In order to even see the errors of our own thinking and of the world's thinking, we have to turn away from saturation in wrong ways of thinking and responding. And we have to turn toward saturation in right ways of thinking through meditation on God's Truth found in the Bible.
God's Truth is unchangingly true—for all generations, all cultures, all times. The world's thinking shifts with cultural developments and has no firm foundation; it is relative. God's Truth is absolute and perfect, a sure foundation for our times and for every time throughout all of history. This is why basing our lives on God's Truth brings peace and stability. Isaiah 33:6 puts it this way: "He will be the stability of your times, a wealth of salvation, wisdom and knowledge, and fear of Adonai, which is his treasure" or "The fear of the Lord is the key to this treasure."
Proverbs tells us that the fear of the Lord is the beginning (or key) to both knowledge and wisdom (Proverbs 1:7 & 9:10). How do we fear the Lord? It starts with turning away from those things that lead us away from truth and turning toward the Word of God. Blessed is the man who meditates day and night in God's Word. Don't miss this blessing. Choices, choices.