Question: What does the Bible say about mental training and meditation? Is it okay for a Christian to use mental training?
Since mental training is a modern phenomenon, it is not mentioned in the Bible. Meditation is also a broad concept where the meaning can vary greatly. Therefore, we must look at the content to determine whether it is in line with Christian faith.
In short, mental training is about influencing their psyche to achieve better performance (eg in the sports world) or well-being. For example, Imagine being successful and being successful gives you greater self-confidence which can affect performance. Another example might be to say that no danger is on the move, despite feeling stressed out.
Much of this is based on common sense and can be healthy. However, everything needs to be tested. Although the Bible does not say anything about mental training, one can test the content against the following questions: Is the content consistent with biblical principles? What human view is conveyed? Can you imagine that Jesus would do the same, lead the reasoning closer to Jesus?
Meditation is a summary concept that involves methods of physical and mental relaxation combined with concentration on any object, idea or phenomenon. It is widely used in Eastern religion, then often in conjunction with mantras which are often names of various deities. Here is the reason to be extremely careful – we should not call on anything other than Jesus’ name! However, meditation can also be termed in the sense of reason, e.g. Meditating on a Bible word means stopping before it, thinking, taking it.
Overall, we need to be aware that Eastern methods are strongly present everywhere, not least in healthcare. E.g. Mindfulness is often recommended, where meditation and yoga are included as practical exercises. This is not something Christians should deal with! The purpose is to become more present in the present, which is a good purpose, but the path leads inward, not upward. The purpose is to empty our thoughts, but the Bible, on the other hand, urges us to renew our thoughts. Renewal takes place by penetrating into the Word of God and allowing it to become alive and active in our minds – it is the mental training I would recommend that is guaranteed to have no side effect.