What Your Dreams are Telling You is a do-it-yourself guide to interpreting your own dreams. As one who dreams a lot, I was excited to read this book, but, as a Christian, I was highly disappointed in its content. Author Cindy McGill obviously has a lot of expertise in the area, I just expected a more Christ-centered book than what I found – especially considering it’s published by Chosen Books, who claim to publish “well-crafted books that recognize the gifts and ministry of the Holy Spirit and help readers live more empowered and effective lives for Jesus Christ.” In this book, however, I found that lacking.
McGill identifies a framework for dream interpretation, laying down seven principles to guide the interpretation. But, to be honest, they were just too vague and almost new-agey to me. She talks about how we are all “receiving life messages in [our] dreams” (p29), but she doesn’t do a very good job of identifying the source of those messages (to be fair she does they can come from one of three sources: self, truth, or lie, but there’s never what I would consider a suitable way of discerning which of the sources one is dealing with). And perhaps I missed it, but I was 39 pages into the book before I found any reference to “God”, and of her seven principals it was the final one (#7) that even introduced the idea of connecting with God (though here he is referred to by the generic “giver of dreams” and elsewhere she chooses to use the more generic “Creator” or “God” when referring to Him). She does reference the Holy Spirit on page 91, but he is referenced almost apologetically when she writes, “I encourage you to ask the Spirit of Truth to come and help you interpret your dreams.” Why is this a simple suggestion? Isn’t it reasonable to assume that if there is a “Spirit of Truth” then that would be the ultimate source for dream interpretation and without his input there would be no interpretation?
So how long did it take to find Jesus in the book? Again, unless I missed it, he shows up on page 155 (the book, without appendixes, is 156 pages, so the penultimate page of the book). She talks about how she had an “encounter” with God through Jesus and the changes that have happened as a result. But here’s the kicker: she says, “But that is my story.” (p156, emphasis hers). Yes, I understand dreams are personal and so is a relationship with Christ. But it stands to reason that if Christ is “the Way, the Truth, and the Life” as Jesus claims he is, that more than being just “her” story, every story must start in the same place: with surrender to God’s will through faith in Jesus as Lord and Savior.
And it was that message that was absent throughout the book. Her insight on symbolism in dreams and the stories of people who have “heard” the messages they were being told through dreams are all insightful and inspiring. But at the end of the day there’s nothing in this book that points back to Jesus; it’s all about “me”. And I was looking for something more.