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Are Vision Boards Really Just Treating God Like a Butler?

On and off over the years, I've heard of Vision Boards, and more recently I hear there is a trend toward Christian Vision Boards. Words like "manifest" get thrown around in both the secular and faith circles when it comes to these things, and the criticism is sharp from critics.

Curious about the whole thing, because I already had some thoughts on this dream-it-and-God-will-do-it topic, I investigated. Now, I used to be a reporter so I have some training in not just research, but spotting (or hearing) manipulative language.

The premise of a vision board, if you don't know, is that you post pictures of things you want to happen in your life. You then look at these pictures every day, think about them non-stop, talk about them, read about them--in short, immerse yourself in them.

Now, there is some sound scientific evidence showing that when a person focuses on a goal, he does, indeed, gravitate to things that can help that goal happen. In fact, several studies of millionaires and billionaires show they share a common practice-- a high percentage of them write their goals down and read them every day.

Maybe they don't glue pictures in Bedazzled notebooks, but they have clearly defined their goals and the structure keeps them focused.

From a Christian perspective, there are several scriptures that seem to indicate what you think about and say can create an actual result.

  • As a man thinks in his heart, so is he. Proverbs 23:7

  • Life and death are in the power of the tongue. Prov 18:21

  • Where there is no vision, the people perish... Prov 29:18

To list just a few scriptures. So, the commonalities of having vision boards that "work" seem to be 1) have clear objectives, and 2) speak them aloud. Okay. To an extent, I like the concept.

BUT here's the thing: if you don't START with what God has planned for your life--if his goals for you are not your jumping-off point, your vision board isn't worth diddly. In fact, it might even send you in the wrong direction.

One thing I am NOT hearing from the Christian vision board fans-- at least in my research--is that you MUST START this journey by prayerfully considering which of your dreams are from God.

Psalm 37:4-5, in my opinion, should be your launch pad if you're going to do a vision board. "Delight thyself also in the LORD; And he shall give thee the desires of thine heart. Commit thy way unto the LORD; Trust also in him; And he shall bring it to pass."

Read those words carefully. If my desires come to me FROM the LORD, they're his goals for me, then absolutely, by all means, those dreams could go on a vision board. In fact, I kind of like the idea when I look at it from this perspective. There's an interesting form of discipline here, some mind-training to think positively and be sensitive to the Lord's voice. A chance to chase a dream knowing the Lord is in it.

But if I'm just snatching random dreams and goals out of the air--uh, that could be dicey. I might be hearing from the Lord. I might not. God is not my butler. I can't just say, "Lord, I need a new truck. I'll put that on my vision board and believe for it. Bring it to me." Ludicrous. But what happened with me was, literally, I needed a new car. I didn't know how, where or what--but I prayed and the picture of a red pickup popped into my brain.

Something about this idea was peaceful and I just knew. I knew I was going to get a red pickup truck. And the Lord brought it about.

So, if you're thinking about making a vision board, start by calling it "God's Vision Board for Me." Then seek him, listen for his voice, be sensitive to his desires for you before you write the first thought, and have confidence you're on board with his plan for you.

Do you have any thoughts about vision boards?


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