Charity, "Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil;" I Corinthians 13:5
- An idea or opinion produced by thinking or occurring suddenly in the mind (Judging others)
- One's mind or attention (Depression or hatred)
- An act of considering or remembering someone or something (Dwelling on the negative)
- An intention, hope, or idea of doing or receiving something (Lusting or Covetous thoughts)
"And Jesus knowing their thoughts said, Wherefore think ye evil in your hearts?"
"For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts..."
"And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually."
If we had a fly for every evil thought it would be like the Plague of flies in the land of Egypt. They would be in our food and hovering on every part of our body. On the contrary, our thoughts are hidden from others. For if each evil thought were a fly, we would count them for what they are: Annoying, Pesky, Bothersome. We would swat them away or spray a repellent to keep them at bay.
Sometimes thoughts are easy to read on someone's face...
- They raise an eyebrow to show their disgust.
- They frown and look down to the ground in shamefulness
- They glare in anger
- They scan their eyes in lust
I had a rough start in my marriage because my husband's mother hated me (or so I thought). I felt utterly rejected by her because she did not want her son to marry me. She fought tooth and nail to separate us. She prayed and cried out to God that I would "go away". It was one of the hardest trials of my life to endure. To have someone glare at you in disgust and you feel it like a knife in your heart. Knowing you are not wanted is a very hard thing to bare.
We married despite her. Our wish was to have her blessing but the blessing never came. On our wedding day I can remember looking out at her in the crowd. I wanted her to be happy for us, but all I could see was a woman that had lost the fight. The battle scars were written all over her face like she was attending a funeral procession of her best soldier on the front line.
What was worse, I let that poison infect me. I allowed those hateful thoughts consume me. Maybe it was because I just could not understand how someone could reject another person and yet call themselves a Christian. But whatever the reason, I had these EVIL thoughts that I could not shake. I hated her for hating me. I wanted to keep her from seeing my children, her grandchildren, since she did not want us to marry. I never could actually follow through with that because I knew it was wrong to be that way.
These thoughts were like a cloud of flies, eating away my joy like a canker. It nearly ruined our marriage because I could only think of my hatred toward her. I would cry and tell my husband how frustrated I was nearly every day. When I would see her, I would try to love her. I would trust her and every time my own perception of her selfishness would drive me far away in my heart. I just could not understand selfishness. I was used to my own mother being so unselfish. I guess I was disillusioned by the grand facade of the Christian life. How could someone be like that? How could a Christian be like that?...
All the while I was the guilty one!
I was the Christian who was having such unforgiveness, such evil thoughts of hatred, and spite. I was continually EVIL in my thoughts. One day my husband looked at me and said,
"Why do you let her drive you crazy? If you wish her to change-if you hate her-is it going to change HER? Do not let her actions control you! Dwelling on these things will change nothing in her--it will change everything about you. You will destroy yourself by these Evil thoughts."
Do I deserve God's love even though I rejected HIM? NO!
Of course not! None of us deserves anything but hell if you really think about it.
None of us is righteous, no not one.
I had to get over my negative, evil thoughts and accept her for who she was if I wanted to grow in Christ. It took years for me to really cherish her as my Mother in Law. The freedom I had in letting go of my evil thoughts was so wonderful. I could enjoy life again as I meditated on this scripture each day...
"Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things [are] honest, whatsoever things [are] just, whatsoever things [are] pure, whatsoever things [are] lovely, whatsoever things [are] of good report; if [there be] any virtue, and if [there be] any praise, think on these things." ~Philippians 4:8
Now we have a wonderful relationship. I get to enjoy the fruit of joy and peace in my heart-my heart that is full of love instead of hatred. Oh, the wonderful working power of the blood of Christ. It is truly amazing how He can cleanse our hearts and make them pure. Only in Him, bringing our thoughts into the captivity of Christ, can we be righteous.
Every time I get the temptation, which I do get, to think bad thoughts about other people, I train myself to rather think on something lovely about that person.
It helps me to see my sinfulness when my children think bad thoughts. They come to me about a friend that does not treat them very kindly or tries to manipulate them. I get practice each time I instruct them how to handle these types of situations. I instruct them to try to remember the good things about that friend. How to love that friend even though they are unkind, because Christ teaches this to us in His word. My biggest advice to them is this...
"We do not have to answer for others, but we do have to answer for our thoughts and our actions. Let us, therefor, be ever mindful of the way we love others."
We are not to emulate the world in it's pursuit to repay evil for evil-we are to emulate Christ and return good for evil.
Loving our neighbor as ourselves.
If we have charity, an unlimited source of love and kindness towards others, we do not think evil thoughts about them.