Sinful Thoughts

Your Sinful Thoughts are OK.
They Don’t Really Exist

Sinful Thoughts

Everything you are made of, your feelings, sensations, thoughts, exist only in your mind. Nowhere else do they exist. No one else can hear them. It’s your own private world. There may only be one physical world here on earth but there are billions of private worlds. Each one of us in our own private observatory watching the same physical world but interpreting it differently.

This is a truth worth meditating on. It suggests that what we are living inside our own head is not real to any other person. There is nowhere else that the thought you are having is actually occurring. Our thoughts are solid like the grass and flowers.

Why is it important to contemplate this truth? To meditate on this is liberating because it implies that what we are personally living inside our heads is not real. We are aware of our thoughts, so in that sense they are real. And yet, our thoughts do not exist outside of our awareness. There is nowhere else where the thought that is appearing to you at this moment is actually occurring. A thought is not solid or tangible like that of the grass and trees that exist in the outside world. You are never going to see a thought skittering by your feet. Do sinful thoughts exist within our own body? That is uncertain. For all we know we could be a brain in a jar sitting on a shelf in a scientist’s laboratory. All we know for certain is that our thoughts appear to our awareness like that of a movie appearing on a giant screen in our own private theater.

Let’s say you are having a sinful thought about a friend recently. This friend your thinking about is not experiencing your thought. No one is except you. If you don’t entertain that thought it will disappear. Stranger yet, you didn’t even have that sinful thought. It just appeared into your consciousness without ever asking for it and if you don’t interact with the thought, it will not exist.

What makes a sinful thought become real is when we focus and act upon it. If your thought is shared or an action is taken as a result of the thought, the thought becomes real, solid. A sinful thought is just an ethereal thing that appears in our mind and ceases to exist if we don’t act on it. It’s freeing to know that a thought is not wished for or brought on, it just appears out of nowhere and vanishes if not acted on. It’s pointless to feel guilty for having a thought unless you act on it, making it real.

It’s strange realizing we are the only ones living the experience that we are living. Our experiences exist only inside our head and they don’t exist but for an instant. It becomes stranger realizing there really is no shared experience. A trip on a roller coaster might be exhilarating to one person and terrifying to another. They both had a different experience. Our thoughts come from experience and everyone’s experience is different. Therefore everyone’s thoughts are different.

Remember the next time a sinful thought appears to you that it is not real in the sense that it has a solid form in the world outside of you. The quality of what you are thinking about is in no way affected by this ‘thought’ that has appeared and is passing by. Furthermore, no one else is aware of this thought. If you pay no attention to it, it will simply cease to exist.

What Does the Bible Say About Sinful Thoughts?

And he said, “What comes out of a person is what defiles him. For from within, out of the heart of man, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, coveting, wickedness, deceit, sensuality, envy, slander, pride, foolishness. All these evil things come from within, and they defile a person.

“The Seven Social Sins are:

Wealth without work.
Pleasure without conscience.
Knowledge without character.
Commerce without morality.
Science without humanity.
Worship without sacrifice.
Politics without principle.

Freedom from Sinful Thoughts by J. Heinrich Arnold

Drawing on the words of Jesus, and on years of experience as a pastoral counselor, Arnold guides the reader from frustration, guilt, and self-doubt to single-minded freedom and finding peace in Christ.
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