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U Using

Joan Winifred

ur I.m.a.g.in.a.t.i.o.n. (wisely or foolishly)?!

one dictionary definition of “imagination”

“The ability that you have to form pictures or ideas in your mind that are new and exciting, or things that you have not experienced.”

Wise Use:

Cultivating and displaying empathy.

Empathy is a beautiful quality that has been described as feeling another person’s pain in our heart. […] How can we develop this quality? One of the most powerful ways to cultivate empathy involves using our imagination. We may never have experienced what our fellow […]brother or sister is going through. Yet, you can ask yourself: ‘If I were in this situation, how would I feel? What would I need?’ Using our imagination to answer these questions will help us to be more empathetic.

Foolish use of imagination:

Worrying unnecessarily about things that may never happen.

Jesus counseled us not to be overly “anxious.” (Matt. 6:34) Being a chronic worrier requires an active imagination. We can easily waste a lot of energy worrying about imaginary problems, that is, problems that have not yet developed or that may never occur. The Scriptures indicate that such anxiety can lead to discouragement and even depression. (PROverb 12:25 “Anxiety in a man’s heart weighs it down (or depresses him) But a good word cheers him up.”) How important it is to apply Jesus’ counsel by not worrying excessively and by dealing with each day’s concerns as they come.

Wise use:

Rehearsing mentally how to handle difficult problems.

Imagination also includes the “ability to confront and deal with a problem.” Suppose you have had a misunderstanding with someone[…] How will you approach your brother and sister to try to restore peace? There are many factors to consider. What is his or her communication style like? When would it be most appropriate to talk about the problem? What words and tone of voice would be best to use? By putting your imagination to work, you can mentally rehearse various ways to handle the situation and choose the one that you feel will be the most effective and well-received. PRO-verb 15:28 “The heart of the righteous one meditates before answering*or carefully considers how to answer; thinks before speaking, but the mouth of the wicked blurts out bad things.”  Such a thoughtful approach to handle a difficult situation will help promote peace[…] That is certainly is a Good use of  imagination.

Foolish use of imagination:

Assuming that material riches can provide lasting security.

Material things are necessary and useful. However, we will surely be disappointed if we begin to imagine that real security and happiness result from them. The wise man Solomon wrote: “The wealth of the rich is a fortified city; it is like a protective wall in his imagination.” (Proverb 18:11) Consider, for example, what happened when over 80 percent of Manila, Philippines, was flooded by torrential rains in September, 2009. Did those with many material things escape?  A wealthy man who lost much said, “The flood was a great equalizer, bringing difficulties and sufferings to both the rich and the poor.”  It may be easy to imagine that material things offer true protection and security. The reality is that they do not.

Wise use:

Forseeing dangerous situations and avoiding them.

The scriptures encourage us to be shrewd and to think ahead. (PROverb 22:3 “The shrewd one sees the danger and conceals himself. But the inexperienced keep right on going and suffer the consequences.” Using our imagination we can consider the potential consequences of decisions before we make them.  For example, if you are invited to a social event, how could your imagination help you to make a wise decision about whether to attend? After considering such factors as who else is invited, the size of the gathering, and where and when it will be held, think: ‘What is likely to happen there?’ Can you realistically imagine a wholesome gathering that will be in harmony with Bible principles? This process can enable you to visualize the event in your mind. Using your imagination to make wise decisions will help you to avoid spiritually harmful situations.

[…] Immoral fantasies can be a stepping-stone to immoral realities. (All excerpts: article: Are You Using Your Imagination Wisely?)

Wisely using our imagination can lead to more compassionate realities!:)

 

4/4/16@8:32 p.m.

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