As God’s children, we must recognize the sins of the mind, so we can overcome them. Most every true believer in Christ recognizes the outward sins of what we do and what we say. However, very few recognize the sins of the mind, which encompasses every thought and every imagination. Yes, we will be held accountable for every unrighteous thought and every vain imagination not dealt with properly. Simply put, they must be cast out of our minds immediately, less than a nanosecond. This will take a lot of hard work observing every thought or imagination, deciding instantly if it’s evil, then successfully casting it out, if necessary, again and again. The good news is that we can trust in God’s grace to be with us every step of the way, ready to forgive every trespass after we have cried out to Him in true repentance. The Bible makes it abundantly clear that every unrighteous thought and vain imagination can be seen as committing the trespass in our hearts. Simply put, inwardly thinking about committing the trespass or allowing your mind to be carried away with the vain imagination is the same as doing it, actually committing the trespass. So, let’s look closely at the sins of the mind most often overlooked to our own detriment.
These sins of the mind can not only damage our relationship with God, but they can also cause a multitude of emotional and psychological problems, along with physical maladies in certain cases. Let’s start with the more obvious sins of the mind, then we will look at those not so obvious and extremely dangerous to our wellbeing. The more obvious sins of the mind are to commit the trespass in our minds by visualizing it in every detail. Jesus said, “But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart” (Matthew 5:28). Clearly, this is also applicable to women lusting after men. Lust is actualized from undressing the other to committing the sexual act, and everything in between. The vain imagination could carry the mind even further away with no limits to the imagination. This template could be used for every imaginable sin from beating someone up in our mind to plotting how to get revenge by destroying their good name or any other number of vicious scenarios. To imagine committing any trespass from shoplifting to stealing from others are also sins of the mind. We will be held accountable for every trespass imagined in the mind against God’s holy law. The list could go on, but you get the picture.
Our God of creation gave humanity a wonderful gift of the mind to think complex thoughts and use our imagination to only glorify God. Sadly, however, many use their wonderful imagination to create fantasies to gratify their own selfish longing instead of using it to glorify God. Their imagination takes them well beyond the created order of things and God’s loving providence to entertaining vain imaginations that can easily lead them into every manner of sin. These vain imaginations can imagine such things as becoming so rich and powerful that they can spend countless hours imagining how their new mansion will be built in every detail, how it will be furnished with the smallest piece of furniture, and how many cars will be in the garage. Some explain this away by calling it wishful thinking. Their vain imaginations can carry them to distant lands being entertained by the rich and famous. Their vain imagination can believe they will make the greatest discovery or become the most renowned person in history. There is no limit to the imagination circumventing the will of God and his divine providence for their lives. Remember, there was a time when the entire world was destroyed by the flood, because of their vain imaginations (Genesis 6:5-8. This is clearly the sins of the mind.
Our God of creation gave humanity the amazing gift of memory. Humanity can remember every detail of past events either bringing great joy or horrific devastation to their hearts. I have always said that our God is the greatest psychologist because He created us and knows everything about our mind and how it works. Bad memories can cause devastating problems, both emotionally and psychologically. Bad memories can be caused by many things but primarily from being wronged by others, real or unreal. Typically when this happens humanity dwells on this bad memory causing it to grow exponentially. Even when they tell others to get their sympathy, then the bad memory grows even more horrible. These bad memories can cause untold psychological problems that can stay with them for years. It is not uncommon for a person dwelling on a bad memory for many years to allow the slightest similar transgression from another person to cause them to relive the trauma of the bad memory as if it had just happened. These people suffer greatly because of their bad memories because they refuse to follow God’s counsel on how to get rid of these bad memories. How tragic that many believers turn to the world for a remedy through a lifetime of psychotropic drugs and endless counseling.
The Bible says, “For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses” (Matthew 6:14-15). This is beautiful counsel from the throne of God. Bad memories can be erased by forgiving others as God forgives us. If we truly forgive others from the heart, then God will not only forgive us, but He becomes our advocate against the evil-doer. Remember, God said, vengeance is mine, saith the lord (Romans 12:19). To forget means that we can no longer dwell on the trespass against us. We can no longer tell others to gain their sympathy. This also disqualifies group therapies that keep the trespass alive. Once we have turned it over to God, and the authorities, if necessary, then we will have put ourselves in a position to forget. You will treat this bad memory like any other sin that the devil wants you to dwell on by bringing it up to your memory again and again. We must resist the devil. We must overcome by casting out the memories immediately. Satan and the spirit of Antichrist are destroying the minds of fallen humanity allowing them to suffer the consequences of their sins by experiencing every emotional and psychological problem imaginable.
I hope you are beginning to see that our thinking is very important for our wellbeing. The good news is that God has given us the power to overcome every thought or memory that enters our minds. Yes, casting out the evil thought, the vain imagination, and the bad memories are essential but to truly overcome we must learn how to immediately replace the bad with the good. The Bible is replete with examples of replacing evil for the good. Study Ephesians 4:17-32, which talks about putting off the old life and putting on the new life. These are great examples that can be applied to every area of life. When you cast out an evil thought or memory replace it immediately with a righteous thought or a good memory. The best part about this exercise is it will force you to develop good thoughts of loving and helping others to become all that God wants them to be. It will force you to develop good memories from observing how God’s love expressed through you has actually changed someone for the best. Vain imaginations can be replaced with being content with what God has given to you by trusting in His loving providence. It can be replaced by rejoicing in God’s grace and mercy and remembering all of those little miracles that he sends to His children. Dear children, as we approach the end, remember that God will hold us accountable for every evil thought, bad memory, and vain imagination. So, please dear children Stand firm thinking only good thoughts and rejoicing in good memories.
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