To me whether or not a thought becomes sin depends on how you treat it. If you act like a bad thought is a nasty bug which flies into your mouth, it doesn’t have time to become sin.
But, if you treat it like chewing gum, you’re getting pretty close to iniquity.
The word says, “”May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing to you, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer.” (Ps. 19:14, NLT)
Thoughts and Meditations
Thoughts and meditations aren’t exactly the same thing. Meditations are thoughts that we chew on. It’s like a cow chewing its cud.
Some thoughts seize us and we have to wrestle them. But when we welcome them, enjoy imagining them, and turn them over and over in our thoughts, they become sin. An angry thought can tempt us as much as an erotic thought. It feels so good to know how unjust people are to us. And self-pity? Oh, honey. Those are the juiciest thoughts! They glide in like big buzzards to roost in our head. You’d better throw a rock into that tree and chase them off.
You decide what to meditate on!
We must be intentional about what we think about. When we listen to music on the radio we choose the station. Some thoughts are so powerfully attractive that we have to wrestle to change the channel.
When a tempting image flashes in an advertisement on Internet we intentionally click away and put our mind on something else. When the image is gone usually the temptation goes, too. The problem is that some thoughts are like a gnat which harasses us. They keep coming back. We have to slap it or spray it with bug spray.
Resist the devil.
“So humble yourselves before God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” (James 4:7 NLT) Fight by replacing the thought.
When these thoughts fly in one ear, I often say, “That’s not my thought. I don’t claim it.” I don’t think that these thoughts are mine until I claim them. The devil and his army attack us with all kinds of untrue and impure thoughts. I’ve found that often I don’t even have to resist the thought. If I don’t claim it, it just flies out the other ear and goes elsewhere looking for a victim.
Sometimes (not always) wrestling makes it worse and the best course of action is to ignore it.
Fight it with spiritual weapons (2 Cor. 10:3-5)
If I feel I’ve sinned with a thought I just simply say, “Lord, sorry. Forgive me.” And I go on. (1 John 1:8-2:1) A trick of the devil is to try to get me focused constantly on fighting wrong thoughts.
In your morning devotions, take a scripture and every time an unworthy thought knocks on the door of your hard head, just replace it with God’s Word. Purposely think about what it good. Purposely think about what is good in others, even if you’re mad enough to spit fire.
Neal Anderson says, “…renew your mind with the truth and replace any lies you may be believing.” (Anderson, Neil T.. The Bondage Breaker®. Harvest House Publishers)
Horrible Personal Experience
One of the most horrible experiences of my life began innocently when I was 14. It was one of those evenings in youth service when I suspect the leader hadn’t prepared anything, so she was reading Bible questions from a book.
“What is the only unpardonable sin?”
“Blasphemy against the Holy Spirit,” someone answered.
That kicked off an awful mental attack. I was afraid I was going to commit blasphemy against the Holy Spirit and be lost eternally. Curse words would come into my mind against the Spirit and I would fight to expel them. And I didn’t even use that kind of language!
I hated to go to bed at night because the attacks intensified when when my mind wasn’t occupied. And if I woke up in the night …
There were a lot of things going on in my life and it wasn’t just that Youth Service at fault but I lived through a couple of the nastiest months of all my life. I still don’t like to think about it and I seldom talk of it.
I finally quit worrying about it. “If that what it is, I’ve already done it, so it’s no use worrying about it now,” I reasoned. And when I stopped fretting about it, the problem went away. Go figure.
I wish I had known the Word well enough to fight back. I wish I hadn’t been too shy to ask a mature Christian adult about it and get prayer.
We have to win these battles. And God has enough grace to give us His victory in this desperate combat that takes place between our ears.
He is faithful and He won’t give up on us.
“Lord, I feel especially that I need to pray for some Coffee Stainers reading this. They are about to give up because the devil has tortured their thoughts. We rise up today and say, ‘That’s enough! Be free in the Name of Jesus. Satan, you have no place in these lives and we refuse your authority in all parts of our life, especially our thoughts. Lord Jesus, thank you for the victory and we consciously replace these thoughts with praise, worship and thanksgiving. Thank you Lord for healing.”
“Humor, on the other hand, helps your brain function in a healthy way. In reacting to humor, both sides of the brain are activated simultaneously. When you tell a joke, the left side—the part responsible for thinking—starts firing. When you “get” a joke and start laughing, your right side becomes active. Research indicates that people tend to be more creative when they see something as funny. Other studies suggest that laughter helps increase the flexibility and creativity of thinking. Humor even has been used to help strengthen the immune system.” H. Norman Wright
This Will Help You Grow
How To Hurt With Someone “…Part of you hurts. That’s called compassion. The root of this word, from what I’ve read, means “(com) together, (passus) to suffer, to feel pity.”
We enter other people’s suffering to help them carry it.” CLICK to read
My Church Hurt My Family “…My teens were disillusioned with church members who were not acting like Christ. Their argument for not attending church was along the lines of the old bumper sticker. “How can I soar with the eagles when I work with a bunch of turkeys”. Or, in more theological terms, how can we grow spiritually by associating with Christians who don’t model Christ. CLICK to read
Walking Dead Men “…the best soldier is one who is already dead–in his mind he accepts the fact of his death–so he worries about carrying out orders during the battle and not about preserving his own life. A walking, running, dead man if you will.” CLICK to read the story