This post is the first in a series looking at wrong things we do without really thinking. Sins we commit almost unintentionally.
Daydreaming is easy, relaxing, fun, and DANGEROUS! Here are three reasons:
1) It’s a waste of time
If we’re daydreaming, we are not doing anything useful. It’s time that could be much better spent – perhaps in studying, helping with jobs around the house, or thinking about meaningful things. Perhaps it’s time that could be spent reading the Bible, praying or meditating. We each have an unknown but limited stock of time available to us and the Bible instructs us not to waste it.
See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. (Ephesians 5:15-17)
2) It’s escapism
Daydreams are a fantasy world, where we can do and be whatever we like. But it’s completely unreal.
There are many reasons for doing this, and none of them are good. Maybe we daydream to get away from the reality of our lives because we don’t like it; either what’s going on at that exact moment – a lesson, a lecture, a sermon – or what is going on more generally. In daydreams we can be rich and powerful, or whatever it is that lets us escape from our malcontent. Or, maybe we daydream to feed our pride, by scoring the winning goal, hitting the winning runs, looking great, getting the amazing boyfriend/girlfriend – I’m sure you can add to the list. Again, the Bible gives some straightforward teaching.
For in the multitude of dreams and many words there is also vanity. But fear God. (Ecclesiastes 5:7 NKJV)
Think of Paul’s example. At times his life was pretty grim, but he said ‘…I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: everywhere and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need‘ (Philippians 4:11-12). He also tells us, ‘Godliness with contentment is great gain‘ (1 Timothy 6:6).
3) It’s a gateway sin
We’ve already seen that daydreaming feeds discontent and pride, but how many other sins does it lead to? Think about it! What about covetousness? Lust and sexual sin? Greed? Idolatry? Blasphemy? It’s a well-known saying that, ‘the devil makes work for idle hands’…well, he also has a lot of traps for idle minds. As James tells us very clearly,
Every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust [desires, dreams], and enticed. Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death. (James 1:14-15)
Avoiding the danger
All of us on occasion have time on our hands – so what strategies can be adopted to avoid the danger of daydreaming?
- We can ask God to help us do everything for his glory and to make best use of the time he has given us.
- We can keep busy – not giving ourselves time to daydream if we can possibly help it.
- When we do have time to think, we should focus on worthwhile things. Being able to think is a blessing – to think things through, to plan, to reflect, to solve problems. Life is so busy we often don’t have time to think, so when we do let’s use it profitably!
- If we are in situations when our mind wanders into daydreams, perhaps on a long journey, we can give it something worthwhile to focus on by listening to an audiobook or a sermon.
Daydreaming is a sin that can be fought, but requires effort and God’s help. We’ll give the final word to the Apostle Paul and it’s an encouraging verse – he says ‘I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.‘ (Philippians 4:13)[A00066 – 23/03/2018]