NOTE: When we talk about daydreaming in this article, we are NOT speaking of actual dreams (during sleep) or visions in which God has at times revealed truth to people (Genesis 31:11; Acts 2:17).
Daydreaming is spending time during your waking hours imagining how things in life could be, might be, or how you wish them to be. Not all daydreaming is considered harmful. Often, daydreaming can be a pleasant way of considering future plans or examining potential consequences (Proverbs 14:8). Daydreaming can be useful when we use our imaginations to discern the wisest decision when faced with a choice. Ephesians 5:15-17 says, "Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is."
While it can be fun to imagine the "what-if" and "if-only" scenarios, if we allow those fantasies to take precedence over reality, then we may run into trouble. If daydreaming is coupled with laziness, pointless activities, or neglect of responsibilities, then we've made an idol of our fantasies (Colossians 3:1-5). If we use daydreaming to indulge in secret sin or lust, we ultimately end up harming ourselves (James 1:14; Mark 7:21).
Unfortunately, this is a harmful, foolish mindset since escaping from reality through daydreams solves few actual problems. Real life—our struggles, challenges, and problems—must eventually be faced, and it doesn't do a lot of good to draw out avoidance by dreaming of "what-ifs". Our time on this earth is precious and valuable; we shouldn't squander that time on things that get us nowhere.
"Be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain." —1 Corinthians 15:58
A girl who spends all her time daydreaming about being a professional rugby player, instead of showing up to practice and working hard to develop her skills, has wasted an opportunity for growth. A boy who daydreams of being a published novelist one day, yet never makes a habit of writing on a regular basis, has little chance of ever achieving his dream. If all we do is daydream about "what might be" without putting forth actual effort, we end up sacrificing our hopes and dreams on the altar of an unattainable fantasy.
Let your healthy daydreams about the future be the creative force that moves you toward real action. Use your positive daydreams to mark the wisest path to follow—then take that first step and make it happen!
Daydreaming is imagining how things in life could be, might be, or how you wish them to be. Daydreaming can help make future plans, examine potential consequences, or make the wisest decision when faced with a choice. But if daydreaming is coupled with laziness, pointless activities, or neglect of responsibilities, then our fantasies have become idols (Colossians 3:1-5). Daydreams that indulge secret sin or lust are always harmful (James 1:14; Mark 7:21). Instead, let your healthy daydreams about the future be the creative force that moves you toward action.
Cat is the web producer and editor of 412teens.org. She loves audiobooks, feeding the people she cares about, and using Christmas lights to illuminate a room. When Catiana is not writing, cooking, or drawing, she enjoys spending time with her two kids, five socially-awkward cats, and her amazing friend-amily.