Sweet Dreams?

Harnessing our thought life can be difficult, but if we take a step back and examine our thought life we may realize how it impacts our outward demeanor and our feelings of contentment. Discipline in our thought life should not escape our notice.

Author, Alicia Britt Chloe wrote the following:

“Watching children exercise their imaginations to picture themselves as mommies, doctors, or astronauts is delightful; we call it playful pretending. As adults, though there is a difference between using our imaginations to build a better tomorrow (being visionary) and mentally self-medicating through self-aggrandizing daydreams.

Disciplining our imaginations can be an enormous challenge especially when we perceive ourselves as deprived of affirmation, attention, or acceptance. But in those seasons – perhaps even more so than in applauded seasons of influence – it is absolutely critical that we not live out in our thoughts what we know we should not live out in our lives. The principle we examined in layer one (when tempted by immediate gratification of our appetites) is still true in layer two (when tempted in our thoughts by the attention and awe of mankind): we will reap what we sow, even in our minds (see Galatians 6:7-8).

For example, consider a new parent drowning in diapers who daydreams about freedom and time he would have if he were still single or childless…who wakes up with less patience and more resentment toward his spouse and children. Or a woman lost in daydreams of being swept away by an attractive Prince Charming…who wakes up, rolls over, and wonders why her husband is looking more and more like a frog. Or a young professional smiling, lost in a daydream about high-profile companies fighting over him with ever-increasing pay scales and benefits…who wakes up somehow less satisfied and motivated in his current job.” Anonymous: Jesus’ Hidden Years And Yours, p.121-122

Do you find yourself struggling with contentment? Wishing for the next best thing? A new job? A better financial situation? Do you crave the applause or attention of those around you? Cast it aside. Focus on what is true (Philippians 4:8) and what God has laid out for you today. Trust God to provide for all your tomorrows and hold your hopes and dreams. But do not lose focus on what He has given you today because it is a unique gift.  Even in your times of struggle, God is giving you the opportunity to lay the foundation of your character and trust in him. Ultimately, do you trust him? Yes? Then focus on today. He has already been to your future and He has given you your present situation – so be faithful to pay attention to it and do as he leads. Just as the parable of the talents (Matthew 25:14-30), God desires us to be faithful and utilize what he has given us. If we are always dreaming, wishing, and hoping for the next thing – we miss the opportunity he has given us today. We lose contentment and fail to see the goodness of God. And we wonder how we got stuck? Hmm…

 

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