Our mind’s ability to imagine is incredibly ingenious. It is an inestimable tool to use for our good. As Albert Einstein said, “Imagination will take you everywhere.” With imagination we have turned dreams into reality. We’ve built castles. We’ve sailed the seas. We’ve gone to the moon. Ideas are what shapes the future.
However, if perverted, imagination often becomes fantasy and can destroy. As in the case of a young man arrested after police said he shook his son twice out of fits of rage toward a video game. His 3-month old son is now in protective state custody while Jerry Carrier, 26, faces two charges of first-degree assault.
There is much debate on the connection between video games and real-world violence. I’ve read several articles in an attempt to understand the uncontrolled rage that this young father could have toward his 3-month old son. Nothing explains away the truth. It is irrational. It is repulsive. It is juvenile. It is inexcusable.
It has become a trend for young men to become emersed into a fantasy world and lose all sense of reality. Their behavior becomes increasingly confused and their aggression becomes more and more expressive toward those who disturb their fantasy world.
This may seem to be a new phenomenon, however it only takes a quick look at scripture to see that men have long ago faced the perversion of their imaginations.
GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. Genesis 6:5 KJV
Noah’s generation had turned their imaginations against themselves. Men became full of violence, sexual perversion, and excessive indulgence in pleasures. The atmosphere became so depraved that God called for a deluge to purify the earth — a water baptism to whip away the corruption.
Imagination has escorted mankind into new possibilities and exciting realities. More often than not, fantasy for fantasy’s sake has a track record of producing disturbing behavior and tendencies.
We should exercise our imagination and tame our fantasies to maximize the potential for good and not evil. God has bigger plans for you than sitting on the couch playing fantasy games.
Five Keys to Using Your Imagination For Good
1. Understand that God has already stored within you secrets for your discovery.
Paul speaks of secrets—hidden wisdom that is withheld until proper timing. He goes on to say that we can’t even imagine what God has prepared for those who love Him. The lesson here is to know that God is not keeping secrets from us, but He is keeping secrets for us.
How do you tap into these secrets? Paul says that they are in a person’s thoughts, buried so deep that only his spirit can draw upon them. As men, we need to gain a better understanding of how to draw upon these secrets for our good. (Read 1 Corinthians 2).
2. Reading the Word of God penetrates and protects the thoughts and imagination.
The Word of God is a very precise tool to cut into the intents of our hearts and minds. In other words, as you read the Word of God, your conscience is either accused or excused. You have the ability to discern what is right and wrong.
When someone has given themselves over to vain imaginations, they can’t discern fantasy and reality. Having the ability to discern is a key to unlocking the potential of your imagination. (Read Hebrews 4:12)
3. You’ll always win if you know God’s ways.
The thoughts and ways of God are superior to our thinking. If we have discernment, we can lean toward doing things in a way contrary to our way of thinking. You’ve heard the old saying, “If you keep doing what you’ve always done, you’ll keep getting what you’ve always got.”
I’ve found that very few men have the ability to stop doing what they’ve always done, yet they want different results. Einstein called that kind of thinking insanity. It takes an effort, even a strategy to reprogram our thinking by doing. Champions do daily what the average man does occasionally. (Read Isaiah 55:8)
4. Keep your thoughts on what is pure.
To the pure, all things are pure. Those who give themselves to corruption find their minds and consciences are corrupted. The mind can either be a great garden or a polluted cesspool.
Dr. Caroline Leaf, a world-renowned cognitive neuroscientist describes the images of thoughts as if they are trees — bad, corrupted thoughts are barren and fruitless — good, pure thoughts are flourishing trees bearing life and regeneration.
We must detox our brains to keep the weeds out of our thinking. (Read Titus 1:15)
5. Fix your thoughts.
Did you know that you can fix your thoughts? You do so by choosing to think on that which is true, honorable, just, pure, admirable, and lovely.
We’re living in dark times when society chooses to allow people in authority to lie to them and get away with it. When people choose to believe a lie they give themselves over to delusional thoughts. Their thinking becomes futile and irrational. That calls for us to carefully choose our thoughts. (Read Philippians 4:8)
Imagination is a powerful tool that can unleash enormous potential in your life. Life can be far greater and more incomprehensible than you’ve dreamed if you give your thoughts intentional direction.
Without control, young men are destroying themselves and wasting valuable time to chase fantasies. Let’s be men who are engaged in the active imagination and pursuing the reality of what can be.