Mutter Your Way to Life or Death

October 14, 2014

Psalm 1:2 tells us to meditate upon the law (Word) of God day and night. The Hebrew word translated “meditate” literally could be rendered “mutter.” What is in view is ruminating upon the Word of God in such a way that it is internalized and transforms our thinking.

Now consider what happens if we meditate upon the perceived slights against us and our hardships and difficulties. We all know the type of person who, when facing difficulty, starts muttering “under his breath.” This is a form of meditation, but now it is meditation upon the discontentment within our hearts rather than upon the Word of God.

Just as meditation upon God’s Word transforms us, so too if we ruminate upon such things, that is internalized. But instead of making us fruitful trees drawing life from living water (the outcome in Psalm 1), the result of such meditation is that it poisons us.

We all face numerous trials. I certainly do. But if the object of my contemplation becomes my financial difficulties and the things I may think other people have done to put me in a bad situation, the result is unlikely to bring any sort of relief. And even if it does, I will have poisoned whatever new situation that may have come about.

The power of life and death is in the tongue (Proverbs 18:21)—not only in our words to others, whether life-giving or death-dealing, but also in our words to ourselves. The choice is before us: mutter your way to life, or to death.