It is relatively common knowledge that the two main things that people shouldn’t talk about among people they do not really know is: religion and politics. However, it is very likely being people have a view of religion that has depended on their past, their politics, and their cultural associations.
With this prior knowledge, Benjamin W Decker, best selling author of Practical Meditation for Beginners, is trying to get people to go back to the roots and understand that those past associations truly have nothing to do with the true teachings of Christ in this new book, Meditations of Christ: A 5-Minute Guided Journal for Christians.
His new book plans to be both a fresh take on Christianity and a return to the basics of the gospel of Jesus Christ by letting people discover how to integrate meditation practices into modern Christian life. The meditation exercises in the book are designed to activate the qualities described in the Bible as “the fruit of the spirit”
It is interesting to see this new take on combining meditation with faith especially because he comes from one of the founding pioneer families of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He definitely takes a relatively modern look at religious studies as a world-renowned meditation teacher and presents his teachings through a practical, cross-disciplinary lens and through an idealogical study that he refers to as “collaborative religious studies” instead of comparative because he wants to identify areas where different faith traditions can agree.
In the guided meditation journal, readers will see that it is broken into different sections: meditate and reflect, guided by scripture, and space for the spirit. Each meditation exercise includes a Biblical verse, a unique prayer and meditation practice, and two journal prompts. They will be able to choose from meditations on joy, patience, faithfulness, and other qualities the Bible calls the “Fruit of the Spirit.” Finally, it is beautifully illustrated so that it includes room for people to write down their feelings as they reflect on each prompt.
The qualities that the book tries to get readers to reflect on are: self-control, kindness, and patience. While we may have learned this in our real lives already, the book tries to teach readers that we as people do not go on this journey of life alone. It teaches readers to saturate their minds and bodies with the great wisdom of self-control with divine partnership with the Spirit to get rewards in this world and beyond. Another quality is kindness, as we are taught as children, “Treat others the way you want to be treated” it is believe that kindness is treating others with love and its effect we have on others. The book reminds readers that we are all family in the Kingdom of God and that every single person deserves mercy and compassion. Patience is another quality that readers will reflect on because it is considered to be an example of spiritual maturity and humans develop maturity only through experience. The book teaches that we need to slow down, let the Spirit lead, learn to accept things as they are, and release our anxiety to God.