How does a Christian handle the powerful self-help concept of visualization?
As I teach and write on Biblical finance and stewardship, I aim to read a wide variety of books on the subject. This includes both secular and Christian resources as I want to be attune to the message being presented both within and without the Church. Several months ago, I started to read the classic “Think and Grow Rich!” by Napoleon Hill. As I read, I was struck by how misguided and misplaced the application of the truth behind this book was. It had taken the power behind visualization and applied it in exactly the wrong way. It encourages people to set their minds on things here rather than things above (Colossians 3:2).
Ray McCollum’s book “Power Of God-Given Imagination: Releasing the Power Within You to Transform the World Around You” is in many ways a Christian answer to Napoleon Hill’s classic. Ray acknowledges “Think and Grow Rich!” in the book, which I greatly appreciate as the root concepts are so similar. The difference is that what Hill deals with in a secular way, McCollum does in a way steeped with Biblical truths and supported by Scripture.
This book was given to me by a friend (Gerald Streeter) in my men’s Bible study and sat on my shelf for a long while before I took time to read it. As with many books, one of the most powerful aspects of reading it is simply making one think about their current application of the principles. I say this because although I knew in theory many of these ideas (again, from secular resources), I found myself repeatedly convicted in my current lack of application.
The power of dreaming and imagining is a truth that works regardless of whether we use it for good or bad. Ray does an excellent job of acknowledging this and dealing with many of the concerns or rebuttals that may be offered by Christians. For example, a fear of many Christians is that they will start to “desire” things outside of God’s will or for the wrong reasons. Rather than gloss over these concerns, they are dealt with head on in practical and scriptural ways.
I certainly would encourage Christians from all walks of life to read this book. I’d suggest doing so slowly, in an almost devotional type manner. Take time after each chapter to pray and reflect upon the concepts and your application. Don’t be afraid of the content because it has so often been commandeered by self help authors for selfish reasons. The truth is something that is part of God’s nature and inherent to us as we are in His image. Rejoice in this and learn how to harness the “Power of God Given Imagination”!