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God has given us the ability to dream and creatively imagine many new possibilities. And this certainly makes us different from animals in that we’re not simply bound to conform to our instinctual urges. We get to consider who we want to become and have been given the dignity to take meaningful steps in this direction. But this requires us to intentionally consider how our imaginations are being shaped lest we become victims of our own shallow and dark conceptions of life.

To be sure, for better or worse, what we’re exposed to shapes how we see life and what we can imagine as possible. For instance, it’s easy to picture a day at the beach and plan a trip after we’ve already been there, or, at least, seen pictures, heard stories, or the like. And a “day at the beach” makes no sense without some ability to imagine this possibility.

But often we take this ability for granted and don’t consider how our imaginations might be limited or have blind spots.

For example, it’s likely the consequence of a stunted imagination when we keep doing the same thing expecting a different result. We stay stuck because we cannot imagine a new possibility.

Likewise, when division, hatred, and violence become our first response as a people, this is likely because our imaginations have been shaped by darkness. It’s only natural for these things to come to the surface when we feed our souls a steady diet of depravity.

Whatever it looks like, to bring more life and goodness into the world requires us to shape our imaginations with things that are true, good, and beautiful – whether in nature or art, creative stories, or the inspirational stories of others. And we remain stuck in the shallows of life or shaped by dark influences when we don’t.

In the end, your imagination is being shaped for better or worse by the things you’re exposed to. Be intentional about cultivating an imagination that allows you to continue dreaming and bringing more life and goodness into the world.

Photo by Ben Sweet on Unsplash

Dr. Corey Carlisle

Licensed marriage and family therapist and certified sex therapist - providing Christian counseling and soul care to individuals and couples, with a special emphasis on developing the masculine soul. Suwanee, GA 30024

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