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Is Meditation Bad? Teaching Kids About Scripture Meditation

Jan 8, 2024 | Teach Kids Articles

As kids participate in martial arts, yoga, or alternative teaching methods in public school, they might be taught about meditation as something to help their mind, body, or spirit. However, with warnings from God against mysticism, Christian kids and parents might be worried if this is dangerous.

Is meditation bad according to the Bible? The answer is “yes and no”. Here’s everything you need to know about Bible meditation for children and how to utilize teaching kids scripture mediation as a healthy, godly alternative.

Is Meditation Bad According to the Bible?

Put simply, meditation on its own isn’t bad according to the Bible, no. Rather, the Bible encourages us to meditate—and to meditate on God’s Word. Psalms 119:97 says, “Oh how I love your law! I will meditate on it all day long.” The dictionary definition of meditation is to ponder or to dwell in deep thought about something. As we meditate on God’s Word, we invite the Holy Spirit and the Scriptures to become more ingrained in our hearts, so meditation itself is not wrong, only what we may choose to ponder.

However, frequently when kids are asked to meditate in non-Christian settings, it often has something to do with trying to achieve an awareness or self-consciousness, while releasing the mind to sense spirituality. This kind of mental unmooring can be dangerous when not anchored on the presence of God, because we know that Satan can influence our thinking.

2 Corinthians 10:3-5 talks about this war for our minds, reminding us that we should be “casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ.” This means that, when we meditate, every thought must be in line with God’s thoughts—making the very process of meditation, itself, the practice of training our minds to only ever think of God and as God would. In the presence of secular culture and mysticism, teach kids that the only way to fully understand themselves and their existence, is to know their Creator and His plan for their lives as presented in the Bible—turning all meditation into Bible meditation for children.

Be Still and Know That I Am God

As relaxation techniques are often used alongside meditation, it’s possible a child may confuse relaxation with mediation. Relaxation in itself is not wrong, either. God, Himself, cemented relaxation as holy when He rested on the seventh day, while our society has so emphasized being constantly busy, that many people don’t know how to relax anymore and are constantly stressed or overworked as a result. Psalms 46:10 says “be still and know that I am God”. A big part of meditation is being still, while studies have found certain breathing techniques to be good for your mind and body.

However, these relaxation techniques should never be done if they’re designed to honor or connect with anything other than God. When instructed in relaxation techniques, the child should evaluate the instruction based on the physical posture requested or any connections made to that posture. If they’re guided into a pose that pays respect to nature, humans, objects, or concepts which they don’t fully understand or that don’t sound like something from the Bible, encourage them to either not participate, or to transfer that honor back onto God instead.

For instance, if a child is instructed to place a hand on their heart to get in touch with their chakra, instead, teach your kid to place their hand on their heart and thank God for making that heart for them, for continuing to keep it beating even when they don’t think about it, and for allowing Jesus to come live in their hearts. Encourage children to focus on their heartbeat while saying a prayer to God, asking for His help to keep their heart pure.

Saying “no” to a teacher or a certain position while practicing meditation might be scary for children, but you can help inspire courage in kids by reminding them of Daniel’s three brave friends who were honored by God because they refused to bow in worship to King Nebuchadnezzer. Humanistic or pantheistic worship might be more subtle than bowing to a king, but if your child has given their life to Jesus, they have the Holy Spirit indwelling who will let them know if something isn’t right. Teach kids to learn how to listen to that quiet urging as part of their ongoing relationship with God and to have the courage to follow Him.

Turn All Meditation Into Bible Meditation For Children

While it’s important to warn children about the dangers of secular meditation, we shouldn’t do it at the cost of sacrificing teaching kids scripture meditation. Scripture tells us that meditation on God is the way to become wise and blessed, which makes daily Bible meditation for children just as vital as, say, brushing their teeth. We want our kids to have the experience where they think on God’s Word so much, it becomes a part of their daily life perspective.

To help you start teaching kids scripture meditation, whenever you explain a passage or lesson from the Bible, do it with graphics, pictures, or object lessons. This helps children recall truth more easily and have an anchor image to hang onto in their mind to make Bible meditation for children easier. Jesus, Himself, frequently used word pictures when explaining concepts to His followers—like sheep, for example. You can even start teaching kids scripture meditation early by giving them a toy sheep to play with whenever you share Bible stories or illustrations, so whenever the child snuggles the sheep at bedtime, they can meditate on those concepts the visual aid brings to mind. If they’re told in school to picture something while meditating to help them focus, they can picture the sheep and their loving Shepherd, Jesus.

For even more Bible meditation for children, incorporate daily memorization verses into school lessons or encourage them to spend a few minutes meditating on God’s Word during their quiet time. Secular influences like meditation may be everywhere, but by tackling these issues head on and talking with your children about it, you can rest assured knowing they’re armed with God’s perspective.

This content is from the CEF podcast Teach Kids.  Listen to more content like this on the Teach Kids podcast through your favorite podcast platform.  #TeachKids #KidsMin

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