Saturday, April 14, 2007

Curious...

As I was walking home from Flicka's house today, I encountered not so nice thoughts about my newest neighbor (not the person living there, let me be specific...but the owner of the house). I saw pretty flowers on the porch and my anger at this man really got the best of me and I actually wondered (for a split second)...what it would be like to take his flowers off the porch and plant them in my yard. He is not a nice man...I'm really upset with him...but I am not a thief. I have NEVER stolen anything (that I can remember...). I cannot believe this thought even entered my head. SERIOUSLY, what is wrong with me...

This is where my curiosity comes into play...does being a Christian mean I am to NEVER have those "bad" thoughts? Or does it mean I am to STOP myself from thinking these thoughts when they enter my head? Or does it mean I am to react "properly" to the thoughts, meaning not act on those thoughts? See, I think I am REALLY wrong in thinking this. I am really upset with myself and worried I do not have the right heart. Now, with this man, I don't have the right heart yet. I am obviously NOT trying hard enough to have the right heart...

I digress...the reason this bothers me is because in the New Testament, Jesus makes it VERY clear if you think about another woman when married (for men), you are cheating. So if I had this thought, did I steal?

Prayer. That is my only answer. I am praying for my own heart to be right with God.

8 comments:

Elizabeth S said...

I don't think it means we are to never have those bad thoughts. I think when we do have those thoughts, we are to "take every thought captive and make it obedient to Christ." I think that is from 2 Cor. 10:5, but not exactly sure. God knows your heart. Love you!

Gayle said...

Ooh, this is deep. I think our sin nature makes it inevitable that we will have sinfull thoughts and God knows that. But we are to grab hold of (take captive) those thoughts and submit them to Christ, repenting of them just as if the sin was physically acted out. And that is where the thought sin and the physical sin intersect.

Good question!

Gayle

dcrmom said...

Great question. I do believe those thoughts are sinful; we do have a sinful nature, after all. But I think that how we RESPOND to those thoughts is more important than that they cross our minds. I had someone tell me once, you can't stop a bird from flying over your head, but you can stop him from making a nest in your hair. Clever, and so true.

So the sinful thoughts may enter your head, but you can control whether you dwell on them and what you do with them. I have learned that you have to REPLACE the wrong thoughts with good ones. I started to quote scripture verses when those "birds flew over my head". In fact, I just posted about this a few weeks ago!

And then, I have been learning lately that if I pray to have the MIND of Christ, that if I pray for his thoughts to be my thoughts, for his desires to be my desires, that those thoughts don't cross my mind as often.

And then the key is to purposefully fill your mind with good things, you know, Philippians 4:8 -- Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.

Sorry for the mega-comment.

4andcounting said...

I pretty much agree with what others have said. The thoughts are sinful, so when you have them, apologize to God and ask Him to fill you with His thoughts. And, in this case, ask that your heart be softened to this man. Pray for him and for yourself and even if you don't feel it right now, you will soon start to find the prayers mean something, that you honestly want good for this man.
Sorry for rambling. I'm having a hard time with coherent thought right now.

the_a_team said...

I think when you have these thoughts it's the Devil trying to persude you to do his bidding. And you have to mentally say no you will not do that. I think God knows you heart is good and you want to do the right thing. But we are in the middle of a spiritual battle. This was just another victory for our side!
It would be different if you sat in your house plotting a way to get away with it though! (J/K)

Adventures In Babywearing said...

I think you got it right. We take authority over those bad thoughts and then do the right thing. It's part of our free will- we have a choice to do the right or wrong thing. We are to desire to be more like Christ, but it's not possible to be sin-free. That's a very good reason why we NEED God!! I thank Him for his continual forgiveness and mercy!!

Steph

4andcounting said...

Oh yeah, I was also taught growing up that thinking bad things about people or gossiping about them is stealing in a way. We steal them of a little bit of their dignity. They don't know it of course, but we are diminishing their God-given dignity. Just another thought on the topic.

Sally Lloyd-Jones said...

Hi Tamara

I love this discussion. One thing that's helped me is remembering Jesus was tempted in EVERY way like us yet without sin.

In the wilderness he was whispered to and thoughts planted in his mind... yet he didn't sin. He resisted them...

I think sometimes we convict ourselves of "thought crimes". It's what we do with the thought--which can arrive in our brains like a dart--that is where we sin or not.

for what it's worth!

Thanks so much for your lovely comment you left on my blog about how you are loving The Jesus Storybook Bible--I left a response on my blog but wanted to drop you a line incase you don't get it to say THANKS!

(BTW: you asked about my other books and probably the best way is to check out my website: www.sallylloyd-jones.com. I have a brand new funny picture book called HOW TO BE A BABY: By Me, The Big Sister... and others)

God Bless
Sally