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Is Manifestation a Sin? What Does the Bible Say About Manifestation

For as he thinks in his heart, so is he.”

This phrase from the Bible (Proverbs 23:7, NKJV) has often been used to suggest that we have the potential power to manifest positive circumstances in our lives with our own minds. The concept, known as the “Power of Manifestation,” is the ability to positively create (manifest) or change our reality into something new and better. Many self-help gurus suggest that through the power of manifestation your positive thoughts can be materialized into tangible circumstances.

Proponents of this “as a man thinks, so is he” self-help mantra assert: “Do you want to be successful? Willfully choose success. Do you want peace and happiness? Then dwell on these things.” Some people even claim that the Bible supports this concept when the Apostle Paul writes, “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things” (Philippians 4:8, NIV).

Yet is the power of manifestation truly biblical or sinful? What does the Bible say about someone trying to manifest or create their own reality? Is manifestation a sin? Are there verses in the Bible like Proverbs 23:7 and Philippians 4:8 that support this concept of manifestation?

What does the Bible say about Manifestation?

Is Manifestation a sin? What does the Bible say about Manifestation?

Over half a century ago in 1952, American Pastor Norman Vincent Peale took this idea of manifestation and wrote The Power of Positive Thinking, a self-help book which describes our ability to positively create our own reality. More recently in 2006, the movie and subsequent book The Secret written by Rhonda Byrne details how she believes a person can mentally visualize what they desire in order to attract what they want. This process has been termed the “Law of Attraction.”

People who believe in the “Law of Attraction” assert that there is an existing energy within the universe that pulls similar things towards one another. In simplistic terms, you may have heard the axiom as, “negativity breeds negativity” and anecdotal evidence typically shows these statements to be true. Yet can we claim that the Law of Attraction is a universal law that we must simply tap into and utilize to our advantage?

According to Byrne the Bible provides us with a three-step process for attaining what we want in life of asking, believing, and receiving. In Mark 11:24 (NIV) Jesus tells His disciples, “Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours” (emphasis mine). Within this same text Jesus also says that if you believe and do not doubt, that you can move mountains. However, does this mean that we can attract and receive personal blessings (of whatever we want), simply by asking and believing?

So, Should we pray and meditate upon positive things so that we can attract and manifest good things in our lives? What is the real meaning of manifestation in the bible? Is it considered a sin or is manifesting not a sin? Let us see..

Is Manifesting a sin?: The Real Meaning of Manifestation and Law of attraction in the bible

manifestation in the bible law of attraction

Now Let’s look at the three passages I have mentioned in this article closer to determine if the Bible truly supports the ideas of manifesting and attraction.

First, does Proverbs 23:7 actually claim that if someone mentally focuses on power, and success, that they will somehow supernaturally attain those things? When interpreting the Bible, the context of a passage is always important; and in this particular passage verses six through eight explain who and what this person is thinking in their heart. “Do not eat the bread of a miser,” it says, “Nor desire his delicacies; for as he thinks in his heart, so is he. ‘Eat and drink!’ he says to you, but his heart is not with you. The morsel you have eaten, you will vomit up, and waste your pleasant words” (Proverbs 23:6-8, NKJV emphasis mine).

The context reveals that this is a greedy, stingy, and evil person who says one thing with their mouth but thinks something else in their heart. Therefore, the statement, “for as he thinks in his heart, so is he” is actually referring to the fact that despite what someone says, the real person is revealed in what they think in their heart. This passage has nothing to do with manifesting good in your life. Instead, it warns us against misreading someone’s words and to examine the true intent of their heart and motives.

What about Paul’s admonition in Philippians 4:8 that we should think about those things which are noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent or praiseworthy? Is this not a direct claim that by dwelling upon these things that we can attract them to us? Actually, no. Again, context is critical in understanding scripture, and in this passage that context can be found in verses four through nine. In these verses we are told not to fill our minds with worry because God is near us in each moment and each circumstance.

As the Message Translation says, we can find peace in any situation when we dwell upon “the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse.” In this case, we are not attracting those things toward us, we are actually attracting ourselves toward those things. In other words, we our focusing our minds upon the good things that are already there in our lives and thanking God for them. We are not mysteriously manifesting power, love, or success by thinking about those things.

Finally, Mark 11:24 holds the key to whether or not manifestation and attraction are biblical or sinful. Afterall, Jesus clearly says that if we ask and believe we will receive. The “secret” and the element most often missing from those who promote the ideas of manifestation and attraction is that God is the one who ultimately gives us anything good we might have in this life. James 1:17 (NIV) says, “Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.” It is sinful to think that we can manifest or create our own good. Mark 11:24 clearly states that we ask for things from God by faith through prayer.

Which leads me to one final note..


Prayers or positive thoughts that are self-serving or rooted in greed and selfishness are sinful. James 4:3 (NIV) clearly states, “When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.”

The Bible never suggest that we should mentally manifest material or physical blessings upon ourselves. Trusting God for those things is more in line with the message of the Bible. There is a biblical law of attraction in James 4:8 (NIV) in which you will find true blessings, “Come near to God and he will come near to you.”

Dr. Richard Sams is a top Biblical and Religious educator, who holds a Doctor of Ministry degree (Evangelism and Church Growth emphasis) from the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville. He has two masters’ degrees (Master of Divinity and Master of the Arts of Religion) from Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary in Lynchburg and also serves on the Pastoral Leadership Advisory Board of Liberty University. Moreover, Richard Sams has been serving as a pastor (Pastoral Ministry) at Calhoun Baptist Church in Calhoun, KY, from the past Nineteen years. He loves practically imparting biblical truths to the next generation, while occasionally conduct spiritual challenges on his facebook page