Fundamentals Of Meditation (Part 3. What Is Honesty?)

Source

Although this is part of a series, it is a complete study on its own. (Part 3 of 9 in series)

* all [bracketed] words in Scripture verses are mine *

Beginning with the article called Fundamentals of Meditation (Part 1. Christian Meditation vs. New Age Meditation. we began to look at meditation and the Scriptural method advocated by the apostle Paul in his letter to the church in Philippi. In that article, we explored the difference between what is commonly thought of as meditation and the Scriptural method of meditating on God's word. They are two very different concepts. In that article also was a quote from Philippians, where the apostle Paul says:

"Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice. Let your moderation [gentleness] be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand. Be careful [anxious] for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace which passeth all understanding, shall keep [guard] your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true , whatsoever things are honest , whatsoever things are just , whatsoever things are pure , whatsoever things are lovely , whatsoever things are of good report , if there be any virtue , and if there be any praise , think [meditate] on these things." (Philippians 4:4-8)

Paul said to meditate on things which are honest. In the apostle's mind there were things and individuals one could consider honest, and we as Christians should contemplate such things when we meditate.

But right away we who live in this society have a problem. Who knows a truly honest person? or what are things that could be considered truly honest? People are so good at lying and dealing with falsehood that most people could dissect any subject or person and name some aspect that is dishonest about them.

I would venture that most people can't list more than one (maybe two) person(s) or things that they would think of as being mostly honest or containing some part of honesty in their life, and many can't think of anyone or anything that they can honestly point to and declare there is no falsehood or deception.

People are not used to thinking in these terms, those of quality and honesty. "An honest day's work" is a lost concept. This is by design. Satan knows that honesty used to be referred to as "the best policy" and it used to be said that "a man's word is his bond." These are principles whose concepts are linked to God. If honesty was really thought of as the best policy, then toward godliness would be the way society moved. Instead, the push for the world is for everything to be blurred and remain in what seems to be a "gray area" when it comes to qualities such as honesty, truthfulness, forthrightness, kindness, and the like. Pilate asked Jesus, "What is truth?" This world would ask, " What is honest?" In a court of law, who is honest? Isn't it said that the honest one is the one with the best argument? Doesn't that reflect how the whole world sees it?

"And that's the honest truth..." Does anyone believe that there is an honest truth anymore? Don't people say such things as: "That person was speaking honestly from his perspective?" Even "wise" Obi Wan Kenobi told Luke Skywalker that Darth Vader killed his father. When Luke questioned the phantom, he explained that his father was overcome by the dark side and thus was not the man he was. The argument was that Luke's father "died" that day. Obi Wan maintained that he was honest "from a certain perspective." Didn't all in the viewing audience say, "oh yeah, I see that!?" The Apostle Paul would have said, "That's not honest!" Luke's father was not dead and to say so was a misleading half-truth (which is a lie).

"...whatever things are honest..." The word honest is the greek word semnos (sem-nos') which means "grave or serious." It is from the root word sebomai (seb'-om-ahee) which means "to revere, to adore, to worship, to be religiously devout." The idea is that honest means "that which has consequence, is grave or serious, not superficial but truthfully real." Add to that the element of the word that includes reverence and you have to say those things "on which God looks on and approves and values, things done from a heart inclined to adoring devotion to God."

So now what does an honest day's work consist of? It would be one that is done for the glory of the Lord. It would done seriously, truthfully real. No cutting corners, no rounding edges but what is necessary to get the job done right and efficiently, knowing that it matters in God's eyes and in your employer's eyes. It would show one takes seriously his testimony. The world's answer: To be superficial, to look busy but not be, to "work smarter not harder" which usually translates to some corner being cut, some piece of quality being omitted.

Have you ever noticed that when you were a kid, things seemed to have more substance?Everyone has memories of things or experiences have been lost over the years. Each succeeding generation seems to cheapen the one before it. For example when one went to a movie or an amusement park the experience was deeper in past years. As a boy I remember life as having more honest quality. A small example of the cheapening of something is what happened to Cracker Jacks. I remember when Cracker Jacks contained a prize that was a toy that one could play with for weeks or longer. What fun! Now the experience is less honest. Instead of a prize you get a temporary tattoo that may or may stick on or a slip of paper printed with some image or picture that no one can recognize. Now no one cares about the experience that buying this product produces, because everything is about the fast fix, an instant gratification. The honest experience is gone, replaced by something cheap, dishonest. Every time something like this happens, where life is cheapened, we lose something of ourselves that God intended us to have.The honesty of family, friendship, marriage, ethics, values, patriotism are being cheapened and replaced with things less honest, of less substance or no value at all.

So how does one think on things that are honest if the world contains hardly anything of that caliber?

What we must do is to think on The Real Foundation of things that are honest and then begin to think on things that have been built on that foundation. That foundation is Jesus Christ. We know that Jesus died for our sins and was buried and rose again the third day, that's the gospel. Nothing has cheapened that, despite desperate efforts of evil to do that very thing. Nothing has cheapened salvation, which is by grace, a gift of God, not of works lest anyone would boast about how he gained heaven. Salvation is honest. Nothing has cheapened the honesty of the Scripture. It was breathed of God and contains the honest words of life. The concept of calling on the Lord, to cry out to Him to forgive us and save us can not be cheapened by anyone's effort. The reality of the need of souls to cry out for salvation cannot be cheapened or made less important. The reality of God's love is honest. The quality of love, so descriptive of Him that His word says "God is love" is honest and cannot be cheapened or made less relevant. The reality of that love is reflected in us, in a mother's love, a father's love, love of country and of our fellow man, is honest. The love that brethren have for one another- the Bible says that the world will know us by the love we show. Nothing can cheapen that.

The "poured out " believer that meditates will be able to receive from the Lord more things to think on which are honest. Honest things will bring perspective to us. We are so conditioned to be busy, so busy in fact, that we have very little time to think on anything that is of consequence. We are told to slow down a little, to take time to think on things that the Lord has preserved that are honest, to ponder those things that are timeless and which He has put in your life. It will renew a will to strive for excellence. It will renew a sense of belonging to something bigger than we. It will help to restore our humility.

But honesty is not the style of sinners, covering up and hiding is. Uncovered, honest thoughts are simply not natural to the natural man. So where does one start to think on things honest. A seeker of honesty starts by a simple prayer to the God who is light and love. Pray this:

Dear Jesus, I know that I am sinner. I know that I need a Savior. I see how my sin has cheapened my life. I see how I need you to forgive my sin and save me. I want an honest relationship with You. I want to see honest evidence of You walking with me and holding me up when the world would seek to hurt me. Thank You for dying for me, for being buried and rising the third day for me. I turn from my sin and turn to you as the only way of salvation.Thank you for giving me my salvation as I cry out to you now to forgive me and save me. I love you my Lord and my God. Amen .

Other articles about Christian Meditation:

Fundamentals Of Meditation (Part 1. Meditation vs. New Age Meditation)

Fundamentals Of Meditation (Part 2. Things That Are True)

Fundamentals Of Meditation (Part 4. Proper Concept Of Justice)

Fundamentals Of Meditation (Part 5. Contemplating The Importance Of Purity)

Fundamentals Of Meditation (Part 6. Can God Say You Are Lovely?)

Fundamentals Of Meditation (Part 7. Building Treasures In Heaven)

Fundamentals Of Meditation (Part 8. Why Is Virtue Important?)

Fundamentals Of Meditation (Part 9. Do You Know How To Praise God?)


More by this Author


Comments 21 comments

Vladimir Uhri profile image

Vladimir Uhri 6 years ago from HubPages, FB

Thank you Bob, for good words.

It is interesting one cannot trust even to dictionaries. I mean: Think vs meditate.


no body profile image

no body 6 years ago from Rochester, New York Author

It's the same word Vlad. It's just a different translation. That's why it's important to find the original word of the text. It gives insight that might be a little hard to see. Love you brother.


Vladimir Uhri profile image

Vladimir Uhri 6 years ago from HubPages, FB

It is fine. But what I meant was there is different meditation of Eastern religion (silent) and Judeo-Christian (vocal).

The Europe were infiltrated with East... We adopted it also here. Don't you think?

The faith comes by hearing not by thinking. I just wanted to clarify.

Long time ago I did published book on this.


no body profile image

no body 6 years ago from Rochester, New York Author

I agree Vlad. I see our meditation as dwelling much longer on the words and principles of the Bible. Easterners do their ohm...ohm... mantras and their concentrating on the spiral designs. They breathe and sit and think that it does something spiritual. It may relax them but it doesn't get them any more spiritual then they ever were. Christians empty themselves out and become broken before a holy God. They ponder and muse on the words and princples and pray applying those things to themselves. They sit at God's feet and while thinking on these things are given things by the Holy Spirit. All the eastern thought does is cut God out and make room for their own god, which sometimes is themselves. Europe is what the States will be in a little while. I didn't misunderstand you again did I my brother?


Rhonda Jones 6 years ago

Rick Warren, leader of Saddleback church in Lake Forest, California, and author of The Purpose Driven Life says this about Christian meditation: “No other habit can do more to transform your life and make you more like Jesus than daily reflection on Scripture.” For more resources on Christian meditation visit http://www.thechristianmeditator.com


Judah's Daughter profile image

Judah's Daughter 6 years ago from Roseville, CA

Another beautiful hub, brother. It used to be that lying got a few stripes on the rear and severe consequences; now we have "excuses", "gray areas", "exceptions", "politically correct" ways. Everything we buy is more expensive and cheaper quality. Anymore, it's considered "foolish" to "tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help you, God". May we meditate consistently on whatsoever things are TRUE and honest ~ mainly that Jesus Christ IS THE TRUTH; His Word is THE TRUTH; His Spirit is THE TRUTH and we walk in THE TRUTH!! AMEN! God bless you abundantly!


no body profile image

no body 6 years ago from Rochester, New York Author

Thank you Rhonda. I believe Rick Warren is right. Christian meditation that begins with an emptying of sin and a breaking of the person before the Lord is a powerful tool to use to transform that person into a spiritual warrior and person after God's own heart. Blessings.


no body profile image

no body 6 years ago from Rochester, New York Author

The honest truth dear sister is that we are never what we should be before a holy God. The honest truth is that we are sinful and gullable and easily led and misled. We were never meant to be isolated from our Father in heaven being busy in our lifestyle or having great periods of thought time away from pondering and contemplating the Lord and walking with Him "in the cool of the day." We are meant to be constantly, moment by moment connected to Him for our every need and to "bring into captivity" every thought to the obedience of Christ. What we do instead is push God off to the side of a life crammed full of blessings. We tend to our blessings instead of to the One who gave them. We worship and serve the created life God gave us rather than worshiping and serving the Creator that gave us that life. The result is that life loses its luster and then begins to cheapen. How ashamed I am when I realize it has been a whole day (or two or three) since I talked (fellowshipped) with God. I run to Him and tell Him and renew my resolve to be like David in the night watch. And then the next thing I know I have forsaken Him again or in some other way. So I run again to Him. I know He knows I am but dust but still, Couldn't I stay awake for just a little while when He went off to pray and mediate for me? Am I that tired? Really? If it was something I wanted for me and my flesh, I would have stayed alert and "watched" with Him. I would have clung to His feet listening like Mary. You know me better than anyone other than my dear wife and you know how I get distracted and when I need prayer to get back where I belong. You are always so faithful as my sister to do that for me. You see me asleep and you poke me and say "Arise Brother Bob, The Master calleth!" I love you.


no body profile image

no body 6 years ago from Rochester, New York Author

Rhonda Jones, I just scanned the website you put above. I think that for the most part the site is solid with Scripture, but there is parts in it that if the Christian is not aware, could be a snare to him. I think that the relaxation is great for a stressed out person to focus on what he must do before the Lord. But I think that dumping the stress is not the end all, and some folks do. It makes no difference to God whether or not you think you are stressed. He can work with someone stressed. But He will not be able to fellowship nor bless the person who does not dump their sin and empty out their pride and whatever else stands between them and their fellowship with God. Some of the images are like the New Agers. I'd be careful of that if it was my website. Images of broken men before a Holy God are more appropriate than images that seem to elevate the mind of men. The mind and heart are desparately wicked. We need to bring every thought into submission before the God of the universe. "It is a fearful thing to be in the hands of the Living God." Just a thought Rhonda. But I appreciate the thing that the site was trying to do.


Vladimir Uhri profile image

Vladimir Uhri 6 years ago from HubPages, FB

Yes to it and amen.


Dave Mathews profile image

Dave Mathews 6 years ago from NORTH YORK,ONTARIO,CANADA

no body, my form of meditation can be done standing or sitting, eating or sleeping,showering or out for a walk or a ride. Simply knowing that God,Jesus and Holy Spirit,remember that they are with you and within you and then simply have an everyday conversation with them as you go about your daily routine inviting them to join you in every aspect.

Brother Dave.


no body profile image

no body 6 years ago from Rochester, New York Author

Thank you my brother. That's your honest opinion? LOL just kidding. Honest living is what Christianity is all about. One can not walk with the Lord and be dishonest at the same time. Honest living is what Holy Spirit empowerment is all about. Love you Brother.


no body profile image

no body 6 years ago from Rochester, New York Author

It is meditation when we mentally sit at God's feet like Lazarus' sister Mary did. She was totally into what Jesus was saying to the exclusion of all else. Meditation is like that. When one is totally poured out before the Lord and then listening to what He says next. No special position no special surroundings. But a place where there is no distractions. David took care of the sheep while meditating. Keep it up my brother. Bob.


Joezap profile image

Joezap 6 years ago from Washington rainy coast

no body

The object of occult meditation is to make your mind “blank”, opening it to “outside” influence.

By repeating “mantras”, etc: or listening to a hypnotists voice.

Christian meditation is the opposite; “focusing” the mind on God’s Word with help from the Holy Spirit already within.

It’s also like Dave Mathews (above) points out, we can be in conversation all the time with our Lord.

PS

I was in the occult before I was saved. I know whereof I speak.


no body profile image

no body 6 years ago from Rochester, New York Author

You said it beautifully too. I think it is exactly how you said, one is emptying for evil to come in and the other is focusing on God and asking for Holy Spirit guidance and control. Thank you for the clarification. Many blessings.


spiderpam profile image

spiderpam 6 years ago from USA

It's been a while Bob. I've missed you here on HP, I'm back, sort of. Your writings are still beyond amazing! Love ya so much, Pammy


no body profile image

no body 6 years ago from Rochester, New York Author

I think the same of you Pammy. I you have read every one of yours and they are great. This series is very interesting. My pastor has preached on this so much but not with a sermon on each one of the items in Philippians. Love you so much too.


drpastorcarlotta profile image

drpastorcarlotta 6 years ago from BREAKOUT MINISTRIES, INC. KC

The sinner's prayer awesome! You never know how many will say this prayer!!! I try placing one on every Hub!!!! I like! Great hub my friend as always!!!! I LOVE YOU!!! Miss you!


no body profile image

no body 6 years ago from Rochester, New York Author

I am always here for you. If you need someone to pray for you or you ever need to talk, I'm here. I should put one on every hub and I will from now on. Thank you for your fine example to me. I love you too, Lottie.


DeBorrah K. Ogans profile image

DeBorrah K. Ogans 6 years ago

Bob, Great meditation! We are transparent to the Lord! When we approach Him we should always be sincere! "whatever things are honest..." The word honest is the greek word semnos (sem-nos') which means "grave or serious." It is from the root word sebomai (seb'-om-ahee) which means "to revere, to adore, to worship, to be religiously devout." The idea is that honest means "that which has consequence, is grave or serious, not superficial but truthfully real." Wonderful! This scripture hangs over my writing table.

Thank you for sharing, In HIS Love, Peace & Blessings!


no body profile image

no body 6 years ago from Rochester, New York Author

Praise God. then this ministered to your heart strongly. He is so good to us. May I write all the quotes in your house so that you have all the encouragement that you will ever need. Love you DeB.

    Sign in or sign up and post using a HubPages Network account.

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No HTML is allowed in comments, but URLs will be hyperlinked. Comments are not for promoting your articles or other sites.


    Click to Rate This Article
    working