Some in the psychology field are now encouraging people to engage in “manifesting,” the idea that they can bring about desired outcomes through one’s thoughts. Still, such ideas violate the Bible in several ways.
In a recent article in mind-body green referred to a psychoanalyst who encourages her patients to engage in manifesting, wrapping it in the guise of self-growth. The psychoanalyst teaches patients to rid themselves of limiting beliefs and develop confidence and an abundant mindset.
While psychology is the study of mind and behavior, it is important to remember that some ideas in psychology aren’t black and white. It is a “soft science,” not a “hard science” like other disciplines with indisputable and repeatable facts. Many concepts in psychology are theories and can even be called pseudoscience. This brings us to manifesting.
Manifesting or “manifestation” is the latest buzzword used in popular psychology. It is a self-help strategy. It’s a new word for an old idea. It goes back to the “new thought movement” of the early 19th century, preceded by ancient beliefs, and comes out of the concept of the “law of attraction.”
The teachings of Phineas Quimby started the new thought movement and were picked up by Russian occultist Helena Petrovna (HP) Blavatsky, who first used the term “law of attraction” in print. The idea reached mainstream awareness in two of the best-selling books: Think and Grow Rich (1937) by Napoleon Hill and The Power of Positive Thinking (1952) by Norman Vincent Peale. Although Peale tried to incorporate biblical thinking into his self-help book, the concept is antithetical to the Bible.
In more recent times, the 2006 self-help book and later film “The Secret” by Rhonda Byrne is based on the law of attraction and has sold over 30 million copies worldwide and translated into 50 languages.
The problem with the concept of manifestation in the law of attraction is twofold. First, there is no scientific evidence to back up the claims. Second, for people of faith, it violates what the Bible instructs for avoiding the occult, which leads humankind away from the truth, and towards false confidence in one’s own power and abilities. In essence, it makes people act as their own God, believing that they create their reality and future.
According to the Bible, there is no other way to describe these ideas other than satanic.
“Do not turn to mediums or necromancers; do not seek them out, and so make yourselves unclean by them: I am the Lord your God.”
Admittedly, some might argue: “What’s the difference?” They may say it’s the same thing as praying to God for what you want. But it is not the same thing for several reasons.
1. Human as creator. God is the creator. The complexity of the world we live in and the universe attests to His superiority. The evidence is there for all who have eyes to see. Manifesting ignores God as the creator and puts the human to create destiny or objects of their desire.
2. Pride. Manifesting involves the sin of pride. It implies that one doesn’t need God and can manipulate their own destiny by tapping into supernatural secrets and their will. Pride is Satan’s sin. He sees himself as being equal to God. Pride is one reason manifesting is sinful.
3. Breaks 1st commandment. Manifesting violates the first of the Ten Commandments: “Thou shall have no gods before me.” Someone who practices manifesting puts themselves before God.
4. Sorcery/magic. Manifesting is a type of sorcery or magic, which the Bible expressly forbids. Again, it is sinful because it is an attempt by humankind to circumvent God, doing what our will desires and not putting God and His will first.