Romans 2:16 (NLT): And this is the message I proclaim — that the day is coming when God, through Christ Jesus, will judge everyone’s secret life.
Luke 12:3 (ESV): Therefore whatever you have said in the dark shall be heard in the light, and what you have whispered in private rooms shall be proclaimed on the housetops.
Proverbs 4:23 (NCV): Be careful what you think, because your thoughts run your life.
GOD KNOWS OUR SECRET THOUGHTS
EVEN OUR MOST PRIVATE THOUGHTS will be made public!
How comforting it is to let our minds roam the extremes, darting past the boundaries of respectability and decorum, venturing into forbidden territory, flirting with danger … because no one knows and, therefore, there’s no harm!
Yes, the God we serve knows everything about us. He knows what we do, what we say … even what we think.
While we may believe our thoughts are hidden, and that we can maintain a good facade simply by watching what we do or say, God tells us that even our thoughts are important.
MISTAKEN ASSUMPTIONS ARE COSTLY
YEARS AGO, BEFORE becoming a Christian, I assumed that what we thought lodged safely within our heads, with no impact on our lives or those around us unless we acted — or spoke — in response.
Therefore, I reasoned, our minds were free to explore the darkest corners of dreams and ideas, with no repercussions.
As a parent of two children, I allowed them to watch whatever television programs they wanted, even when the children’s programs flirted with filth. One day, my younger of two daughters pushed me out of their TV room with these words: “Daddy, you have to leave the room. They’re talking about sex.”
Stunned, I stumbled into the kitchen, blurting out to their mother, “Do you know what they’re watching?”
She said, “Yes, it’s on all the time.”
That was 30 years ago. All that’s changed since then is the situation has gotten worse.
OUR SINFUL THOUGHTS HARM US
SIN IS BORN in our thoughts.
When those thoughts, or desires, become strong enough, they lead us to act contrary to God’s will (James 1:14-15), and that leads to death because death is the payment for sin (Romans 6:23).
In the days before my conversion, I didn’t realize that the thoughts that populated our minds — mine or, in this case, my children’s — would, or even could, find their way out through our speech or future actions.
Without the Bible’s teaching, I was content to follow my own desires for my purposes and would find a way, if I could, to neutralize any opposition, from whatever source — wife, employer, neighbor. It didn’t matter. I was the “captain” of my destiny, and I took great pride in getting my way.
As the *natural man* (1 Cor. 2:14), I was unable to see a higher purpose in which I could be called to serve others (Mark 10:45) or not think of myself more highly than I ought (Rom. 12:3) or to bear another’s burdens (Gal. 6:2).
I also paid a heavy price for my insolence, although I did not immediately attribute any failings to my conduct or mindset.
GOD’S GRACE SAVES US
GOD’s GRACE is so amazing.
He not only wants to forgive us for what we do, but He wants to forgive us for every intemperate word and errant thought! (Romans 5:20)
More than that, He wants to redeem us and teach us so that we won’t continue along the path that leads to destruction. (Matt. 7:13) We learn through His Word that our paths, our desires, may seem right to us, but we take them at our peril. (Prov. 16:25)
Once we receive the Holy Spirit, He goes to work to remake us in His image. (2 Cor. 5:17; Phil. 2:13)
Then, we see more clearly the strong connection between our errant thoughts and our behavior, and we strive to change our thinking, with His help and under His grace, to thoughts honoring our Savior. (2 Cor. 10:5; Phil. 4:8)
WHEN I LOOK BACK at those days before conversion, I shudder to see how selfish I was, how prideful, how ungodly.
Then I read that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us, the Godly for the ungodly (Rom. 5:8), that we might have fellowship again with our Creator, the way He designed us before our Fall from Grace (Genesis 3).
That, my friends, is love.
Dear Heavenly Father, You know us better than we know ourselves. You know what is in our hearts, what motivates us, what consumes our passions and energy. You are not fooled. We confess to You our selfishness, our envy, our judgment of others. Please forgive us and cast our sins away, as far as the east is from the west, and remember them no more. Lord, Your Word was given to instruct us, to rebuke and correct us, and to train us so that, as children of the Most High God, we will be adequate for every good work. We pray, O Lord, that You will soften our hearts to make us more obedient to Your will. In Jesus’ holy and matchless name we pray. AMEN