What weighs just about three pounds (1.4 kg) but has been referred to as ” the most complex thing we have yet discovered in our universe” ? The human brain. It is truly awe-inspiring. The more we learn about it, the greater our appreciation for God’s ” wonderful” works will be. Consider just one of our brain’s many faculties- imagination.
What is imagination? One dictionary defines it as ” the ability that you have to form pictures or ideas in your mind of things that are new and exciting, or things that you have not experienced.” With that in mind, would you not agree that you use your imagination quite regularly? For example, have you ever read or heard about a place that you have not visited? Did that prevent you from picturing it in your mind ? Really, whenever we think of something that we cannot see, hear, taste, or smell, our imagination is at work.
How can we use our imagination wisely, and what foolish uses of imagination should we avoid?
FOOLISH USES OF IMAGINATION
1. Daydreaming at the wrong time or about the wrong things.
Daydreaming in itself is not wrong. Infact there is evidence that daydreaming can be beneficial. We can daydream about what we read from the bible, good news we heard and even as about a bright and better future. However, it will be wrong daydreaming about immoral fantasies, immoral realities, being greedy for what it’s not yours. Be determined never to allow your imagination draw you away from your God!
2. Assuming that material riches can provide lasting security.
Material things are necessary and useful. However, we will surely be disappointed if we begin to imagine that real security and happiness result from them. The wise man Solomon wrote: The wealth of the rich is his fortified city; it is like a protective wall in his imagination.” ( Prov 18:11) Consider, for example, what happened when over 80 percent of Manila, Philippines, was flooded by torrential rains in September 2009. Did those with many material things escape? A wealthy man who lost much said, “The flood was a great equalizer, bringing difficulties and sufferings to both the rich and poor.” It may be easy to imagine that material things offer true protection and security. The reality is that they do not.
3. Worrying unnecessarily about things that may never happen.
Do not be overly anxious. Being a chronic worrier requires an active imagination. We can easily waste a lot of energy worrying about imaginary problems, that is, problems that have not yet developed or that may never occur. Such anxiety can lead to discouragement and even depression. So important not to worrying excessively and always deal with each day’s concern as they come.
WISE USE OF IMAGINATION
1. For seeing dangerous situations and avoiding them.
We should be shrewd and think ahead. Using our imagination, we can consider the potential consequences of decisions before we make them. For example, if you are invited to a social event, how could your imagination help you to make a wise decision about whether to attend? After considering such factors as who else is invited, the size of the gathering, and where and when it will be held, think; ‘ What is likely to happen there?’ Can realistically imagine a wholesome gathering that will be in harmony with Bible Principles? This process can enable you to visualize the event in your mind. Using your imagination to make wise decisions will help you to avoid spiritually harmful situations.
3. Rehearsing mentally how to handle difficult problems.
Imagination also includes the “ability to confront and deal with a problem.” Suppose you have had a misunderstanding with someone. How will you approach him/her to restore peace? There are factors to consider. What is his style of communication? When would it be most to talk about the problem? What words and tone of voice would be best to use? By putting your imagination to work, you can mentally rehearse various ways to handle the situation and choose the one that you feel will be most effective and well- received. Such a thoughtful approach to handle a difficult situation will help promote peace. That is certainly a good use of imagination.