I stopped caring about you today…
You are, in fact, right in your thinking that I don’t like you, in the least, and frankly your mere presence irritates me….
You decided to wear that today? Good choice on your part, not.
You broke my heart, so now I’d really like to break your face.
I’m not here to feed your ego anymore.
Could you just shut up? Your laugh makes me want to smack you…hard.
I’m going to be blatantly honest and say those sentences above are thoughts I’ve had today. I think it’s something we all struggle with, but not something we like to discuss too often. However I do think there’s an even bigger problem going on, at least it’s making the rounds in the church world. I’m not sure about other places, as only Christians could come up with this forgiveness and grace coated excuse to make themselves feel better.
The confession of thought. We all have thoughts, some not so nice, some extremely pleasant. My strong belief is that unless your actions begin to reflect your thoughts, you know those ones you dwell on way too much, then that’s between you and God. Confess it with Him, lay it down, and let it go. If you’ve snapped at the person you’ve been holding resentment towards, or if you’ve intentionally acted a certain way towards them because of your thoughts, then go to them, have a face-to-face conversation where the two of you can talk it out and seek forgiveness. But please refrain from confessing these things to them if it’s just been burdening you. All you do in that moment is bring the other individual into sin. You truly do. They begin to dwell on their own actions and worry over them. Just because you want to unburden yourself with your guilt over those thoughts, does not give you free reign to dump on another individual. Leave it with God and let it go.
If I went to every person that I’d harbored some sinful thought about, I’d never get anything done in my day but seeking their forgiveness and having conversations with them. Instead I must be adamant about guarding my mind from these thoughts. I must make a cognizant choice daily to confess to God when these thoughts start and cling to Him…and His Word. James 4 points directly to this: Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Lament and mourn and weep! Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up.
So are you humbling yourself? All of you? Your thoughts…that one you’ve been thinking about that girl in your class….that guy at work…that group of individuals who exclude you….your boss. No matter what it is, turn it over to God, seeking to be mindful of when you begin to chase that thought-rabbit, and stop yourself…or better yet, let God stop you. Cling to Him in those moments, being guided by the Holy Spirit and rest in a peace that only He can bring. Rest in that, knowing you are cleansed and humbled before Him…and stay there. Don’t wander off to share your new found freedom of a guarded mind with the individual you’ve been resenting. It only leads to destruction once more.