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Anointed Imagination

". . . An imaginative and creative mind is a great and precious gift; but, like God's other gifts, it may be perverted, misused, and degraded. The Christian's powers of imagination are a dedicated talent of creativity, and he has a duty before God to cherish and expand them. . . The sanctified imagination will operate . . . to bless mankind and to glorify God," (Norma R. Youngberg, Creative Techniques for Christian Writers, Pacific Press Pub. Assoc.: Mt. View, Calif., 1968, p. 2).

God used His creative fancy to bring our world into existence. He envisioned tall animals with very long necks and created a giraffe. He thought up a huge gray beast with a long nose and made an elephant. He imagined an animal with a ruff of fur around its head and neck and formed a lion. He dreamed up beings to rule over the animals and created man.

Because we often remember bad or sad things, we fail to realize the creative power of an anointed imagination. Paul had a concluding piece of advice in his letter to the Philippians: "Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable -- if anything is excellent or praiseworthy -- think about such things," (Philippians 4:8 NIV). Imagine that! What a better world we woud have if each of us used his mind to remember or dream up only good things.

The Wright brothers envisioned a machine that would fly a man through the air. Someone else dreamed of a machine that could "think" and the computer was born. Who first thought about floating on the water in a wooden craft, we wonder. All these people developed a mental image of something good and created machines that would benefit mankind.

Secular people are often very creative. They want to benefit mankind in order to make money. Christians often think of imagining as idle fancy, wasted time or unspiritual activity.

When the word "imagination" is used in the Bible, it often has a negative connotation. True, imagining can be used for evil. Both David and Micah write of those who lie awake at night to dream up new ways to do evil. (Psalm 36:4; Micah 2:1). The tragedies of September 11th in New York City were dreamed up through demonically empowered plotting.

When we were newly married, I broke a valued item. Imagining my husband's disappointment when he arrived home, my mind expanded disappointment into anger, and anger into rage. After work, he found an exhausted wife with eyes swollen from weeping. He was disappointed, but I was relieve to find that the scene of anger I had envisioned was unfounded.

Worry is imagination misused. Our minds may be the "room" where our soul dwells. We harbor adverse mental pictures or depressing scenes that may never take place, but which dishearten us for days.

George MacDonald, a great Christian thinker and wirter, "believed that in using our imagination we are being divine image-bearers, dimly reflecting God's own creativity," (ChristianityToday.com, May 10, 2006.) We can control the images that play before our mind's eye. We can choose to make our imaginations our allies by selecting positive mental pictures, deleting those that trouble us. Some negative mental images are persistent, but by filling our minds with God's Word and choosing, with His strength, to think about happy days and positive concepts, we can gradually nudge out the discouraging ones.

"Of all people," one Christian writer asserts, "Christians should be the most imaginative, creative and inventive as well as the most skillful, the most dedicated, and the most humble," (Youngberg, op. cit., page 4).


Cecilia Marie Pulliam said...

Wonderful post, Sylvia. Yes, to use our imaginations for good thoughts and encouragement. I especially like the imagery regarding worry. That is one of my biggest downfalls. As Mark Twain said, "I've lived a rough life, and some of it actually happened."
Thank you for sharing.

Sylvia said...

Thank you, Ceci. Yes, I'm a worrier, too, so I was writing that part to myself. LOLOL I love the Mark Twain quote.

I hope your painting is going well.

Big hugs.

MaryGrace said...

I love the article, Sylvia. It's so true.

Sylvia said...

Thank you, Skeeter. Big hugs

lynnmosher said...

Oh, so good, Sylvia! And so true...Christians should excel at being creative. We have the most creative Mind to tap into. I believe we fail to utilize His creativity as we should. Loved this!

Sylvia said...

I think so, too, Lynn. We often become content with the mediocre in daily living and in our spiritual lives. I'm glad it was a blessing and a challenge. Hugs

Louise said...

Such a great thought and so well presented.Always blessed by your insight.

~Dana Pratola said...

Yes, God is the Author of all creative thought. Like Father, like daughter =-)

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