What is imagination for?

The Question

What are we supposed to use our imagination for?

D. from USA


The Answer
Part 1: Imagine this...

Imagine this... (Part 1)

In my opinion imagination is one of the best gifts that God gave us when he first considered making man. He said of his new creation: “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness” (Genesis 1:26) He imagined man like himself so that when we look at man at his best, we should be reminded of our Creator. Then he proceeded to bring forth what he thought up—what he imagined. When he finished, “God saw all that He had made, and behold, it was very good.” (Verse 31) Imagination is part of what is very good.

That can give us a pretty good clue about what our own imagination is used for. We start with knowing that God builds imagination into us and that using it is following his creative lead. For instance? Well, what about an architect who dreams up a building that has never been thought of before? What about that unique opera house in Sydney Australia? It had to be birthed in the imagination before the plans could be drawn.

Then there is Michelangelo painting the vastness of the Sistine Chapel. It had to be firmly in his mind before he climbed the scaffolding and lay on his back painting day after day for years. In fact, most creative endeavors are birthed in imagination. Choreography, graphic design, music, art and exploration of space are just some of them. Every new invention had to be imagined first. Even figuring out how roads are to be laid out for optimal traffic flow uses imagination.

Do we use our imagination in the spiritual realm? You bet! Imagination can partner with faith to great advantage. Hebrews 11:1 says that “faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” Imagination can help us to believe what we have not yet seen. We haven’t seen heaven yet but we can imagine it based on what is in scripture about it. Our imagination can prop up our hope, especially through difficult times when heaven may seem far off and unreal.

The longer I think on it, the more uses I see for imagination. Without it life would be more mundane and somewhat dimmer. We wouldn’t accomplish as much because we would have no vision for the possibilities. God wants us to see the possibilities so we will step out and join him in the creative process he shared with us when he made us in his own image.

Great job God. Image that!

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