God created our minds to think up many new and creative possibilities. And exercising our imaginations is part of how we reflect his divine image. But when we’re not careful we can overextend our thoughts toward the negative rather than cultivating meaningful images of light and goodness.
Perhaps it is human nature to allow our imaginations to spiral downward. And, to be fair, considering what can go wrong does keep us safe.
For example, in relationships knowing that someone has the potential to hurt us reminds us to be wise and discerning in our interactions with them. Because we can imagine bad things happening we’re not willing to just trust anybody.
But we shortchange our imaginations when we focus only on potential dangers and what can go wrong. To fully exercise our mental capacities it’s helpful to consider the best possible outcomes as well.
For instance, instead of assuming the worst in each other and always being on the defense, we can also imagine the possibility that maybe there are those willing to love, accept, and value who we are in body and soul. With our minds we can cast a vision of unity and explore the possibilities of enjoying life’s adventures together.
Without the ability to imagine the bad we remain naïve and set ourselves up for many heartaches. But we miss God’s best when we don’t also cultivate our imaginations toward the good. To be sure, we suffer in darkness without a sanctified imagination toward the light.
Of course, using our imagination in either direction is not to deny reality. But it’s wise to intentionally consider the good along with the bad whenever new possibilities are being explored.
Exercise the power of your imagination for good – considering the bad, but also casting a vision of increasing life, light, and love for the world around you.