As a Man Thinketh in His Heart, So is He: What the Bible Says about Unclean Thoughts
By Betty Miller
Song of Solomon 2:15 says, “Take us the foxes, the little foxes, that spoil the vines: for our vines have tender grapes.” Foxes sometime in search of food would enter into the grape orchards and devour the grapes and spoil the crop. However, the little foxes were too small to reach the grape bunches so they would chew on the vines and it would kill the whole vine. Instead of the farmer just losing his crop, he would lose his vine which was more disastrous. Spiritually some things we do or allow that we might think are little or insignificant can also be disastrous for us.
Most people do not realize how the devil uses our little unclean thoughts to begin his work of evil in our lives. Just as it is the little foxes that spoil the vines referred to in scripture, so it is the little thoughts of folly and wickedness that destroy men’s lives. A thought is only an idea but if it is dwelt upon long enough it becomes an action. On the positive side this can produce much good. It is not sinful to have an evil thought as this is the way that we are all tempted by the devil. However, the sin comes into play when we dwell on the evil thought (or any thought that is against the Word of God). As that thought takes root in our heart (our spirit) it will eventually bear its deadly fruit.
Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. Galatians 5:19-25
In these verses in the Bible, we find a list of sins that are called the “works of the flesh” followed by a list of virtues called the fruit of the Spirit. All of these sins and virtues begin as seeds in the thought life. God has given every man a choice as to the things that he will think about. Every evil deed that is done by mankind first began as a thought. In the world our thoughts are influenced by many different sources. That is why it is important not to expose ourselves to the evil in books, magazines, movies, TV, radio, friends, etc. The Bible admonishes us not to associate with wicked companions and to stay away from liars:
I will behave myself wisely in a perfect way. O when wilt thou come unto me? I will walk within my house with a perfect heart. I will set no wicked thing before mine eyes: I hate the work of them that turn aside; it shall not cleave to me. A froward heart shall depart from me: I will not know a wicked person. Whoso privily slandereth his neighbour, him will I cut off: him that hath an high look and a proud heart will not I suffer. Mine eyes shall be upon the faithful of the land, that they may dwell with me: he that walketh in a perfect way, he shall serve me. He that worketh deceit shall not dwell within my house: he that telleth lies shall not tarry in my sight. Psalm 101:2-7
The reason our nation and the world is filled with so much violence and uncleanness is that men and women have chosen to indulge in a wicked thought life fed by evil input from Satan’s emissaries. These actions were once tiny seeds of temptation that now have blossomed into the fruit of evil. People that “toy” or “play” with sin sooner or later will be trapped by it. The Bible says in Galatians 6:7-8, “Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.”
The unclean (dirty) thoughts that have been implanted in the minds of millions through pornography alone, are now bearing the fruit of evil deeds such as rape, divorce, murder, homosexuality, adultery, fornication, oral sex, pedophilia and other sexual sins. No one can compartmentalize their private lives and thoughts that are evil without it eventually affecting the rest of their lives. The thoughts and deeds of those in authority are now being exposed as the Bible declares in 1 Corinthians 4:5: “Therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord come, who both will bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and will make manifest the counsels of the hearts…” We are in the time of judgement before the Lord returns so those things that have been done in darkness are now coming to light whether it be priest, preacher, politician, business men, or just ordinary men or women.
We all experience these “little foxes” of evil seed thoughts but we must not allow them to take root. As Christians, we have the power of the Holy Spirit to give us the victory over these temptations and through the Lord we can replace them with virtuous seeds from the Word of God. We can do as Jesus did when he was tempted by the devil; He quoted the Word of God to the devil and he left Him. Luke 4:4: “And Jesus answered him, saying, It is written, That man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God.”
We can plant good seeds in our hearts and minds by reading the Word of God and listening to the Holy Spirit. Philippians 4:8 says, “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.”
If we think on the good things of God and keep an honest heart before the Lord, it will cause our hearts to be soft before Him. Then, when we read the Bible and pray we will be able to plant the seed of His Word in our hearts. This, watered with faith will then produce a bountiful harvest of good things in our lives and the lives of those around us.
But that on the good ground are they, which in an honest and good heart, having heard the word, keep it, and bring forth fruit with patience. Luke 8:15
What kind of “little seeds” are you planting? Those little things are capable of bringing forth big harvests.
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Betty Miller has written several books on other topics as well. To view titles or purchase those books visit our bookstore.