We’re Having A Party In Our Minds
Read Matthew Chapter 9
Mt 9:4 Knowing their thoughts, Jesus said, “Why do you entertain evil thoughts in your hearts?
Jesus put this question to His detractors who did not believe in Him and opposed Him at every turn. Such a question should have penetrated the hearts and souls of the religious leaders who heard it, but it did not. The answer to the question is easy – the unbelievers did not have a heart turned to and in tune with God. If they had, they would have immediately repented, believed in Him, and followed Him. Their hearts were figuratively made of stone.
But let’s turn that question around and ask it of ourselves. “Why do WE entertain evil thoughts in our hearts?” As I read this passage today, the question from Jesus’ mouth burned deep into my mind and heart. Why have I ever entertained evil thoughts in my heart? That question, posed to believers, followers of Christ, should cause us to fall on our knees in sorrow and contrition. Of all the peoples of the world, we are the only ones who have no excuse for entertaining our evil thoughts.
Why do we allow lustful thoughts to stay in our heads? Why do we allow the allurement of Internet porn to linger beyond a fleeting thought? Even more pointedly, why do we allow those thoughts to give birth to actual plans to act out on those evil thoughts? That’s more than entertaining evil thoughts; that is allowing them to grow roots and find nourishment in our hearts! God forbid!! We do not have to.
Note one word of Jesus’ words with special intensity – “entertain.” There is no way that evil thoughts will fail to appear in our minds for a brief moment. That handsome man or beautiful woman will appear before us, sooner or later, perhaps many times each day. That computer sits before our eyes often during the day. But those temptations do not have to reside there. If we choose to do so, we can dismiss that thought immediately, or at the least after a time of quick contemplation. We do not have to “entertain” that thought which pops into our minds.
We should be ashamed of ourselves! Our Savior paid a dear price for our freedom from sin. He deserves more from us than our apathetic attitude about the seriousness of our evil thoughts. He deserves from us a willingness to force evil thoughts out of our minds at their first appearance. It that a difficult task? Yes, it is. Was Jesus’ work on earth and death on the cross difficult? Silly question! Our task is far less difficult than the one He performed on our behalf. We should gladly endure our personal suffering as we “work out our salvation” by dismissing our evil thoughts. Our minds should be happily focused on our eternal rewards rather than our temporary suffering as we choose to remove evil thoughts from our hearts and minds.
Let us allow Jesus’ question to penetrate, probe, and pierce our hearts. We have no excuse to entertain our evil thoughts. We have the Holy Spirit’s power to reject them and it is our duty, our obligation, to utilize that power and be done with them.
1Pe 4:1 Therefore, since Christ suffered in His body, arm yourselves also with the same attitude, because he who has suffered in his body is done with sin. 2 As a result, he does not live the rest of his earthly life for evil human desires, but rather for the will of God. 3 For you have spent enough time in the past doing what pagans choose to do—living in debauchery, lust, drunkenness, orgies, carousing and detestable idolatry.
Prayer: Oh, Lord, we sure have spent enough time dabbling in those things which sadden Your heart. We don’t know why we entertain evil thoughts in our hearts. There is no excuse for such folly. Forgive us and remind us that You have given us the power to avoid our “entertainments.”