The Abundant Life Blog
|Posted by firstname.lastname@example.org on July 5, 2018 at 4:05 PM|
Earlier today and young, bright college student came to my office seeking counsel to cope with anxiety and depression which had taken over most of his adolescent and adult life. One of the struggles she mentioned was with his fantasy life. He recalled fantasizing about all sorts of things – positive and negative from his past in a way that kept open old wounds and scared away his ability to sleep. Perhaps fantasy has not impacted you to this extreme, but believers often struggle with the reality of a problematic fantasy life.
Its not just romantic fantasy
Generally when we think about an unhealthy or unhelpful fantasy life, we are discussing sexual fantasies for men and romantic fantasies for women. However, an unhealthy fantasy life can take on many different shapes. In the case of the before mentioned student, the fantasies included reliving painful events and his own struggles with sin. Such a fantasy life had him stuck in unforgiveness and guilt. Since we are commanded to guard our hearts (Proverbs 4:23), it would follow that engaging in such fantasy is more than an unhelpful thought process, it is a down-right dangerous path.
What's the solution?
In Victory in Spiritual Warfare, Tony Evans provides a solution:
Fantasize about God's truth. You read that right – fantasize about what God says in His Word. Let it become as real to you in your thoughts as whatever you see all around you. (pg. 73)
That's a novel idea. Let's take back the fantasy process and make it work for us. God has given us an imagination for a purpose. It allows us to create and grow – invent and discover. Why not reclaim this process for God's glory and for our own spiritual growth?
How? By using our imagination to envision how God's word can be implemented in our lives. What does it mean to turn the other check when I am on the road and full of rage? What would it look like if I submitted to my spouse? What kind of things would I be saying to my co-worker if I really sought to encourage her? Far from New Age visualization, this is using the imagination as God intended to move us towards Himself and His ways. Instead of fantasizing about what I could have said to get back at him or her, let's fantasize about what I'll say next time to point the way to Christ.