There are several places in the gospels where Jesus chastises the Pharisees for their thoughts. This one is found in Luke. The friends of a paralyzed man couldn’t get through the crowd to ask Jesus to heal him, so they climbed on the roof, moved aside some of the roofing material and lowered the man and his bed down in front of Jesus.
Jesus told the man that his sins were forgiven, which did not please the Pharisees. Only God can forgive sins; who was this rabbi to say such things? It was blasphemy. Jesus knew what they were thinking and chided them for it. Then He proved that He had the authority…at His command the man stood up, picked up his bed and went home.
What does that tell us? God knows what we think…all of it, all of the time. Jesus, as the Son of God, knew what the Pharisees were thinking, what the man on the bed was thinking and what his friends on the roof were thinking. That can be a scary idea.
We all do it: I sometimes think things I shouldn’t. Sometimes I let those thoughts run on, uncensored. It’s not uncommon. If someone hurts us, we may play out revenge scenes in our minds. If we see something we can’t have, we may plot a way to get it. God knows that.
How to stop: First, we have to recognize what we’re doing, and remember that God hears everything we think. He knows the desires of our heart. Then we have to start listening to our own thought process. That isn’t easy to do, but it can be done.
Prayer Power: I don’t know about you, but policing my thoughts isn’t something I can do by myself. This is where prayer comes in. We can ask God to show us when we are thinking improperly. That’s a segment in the Lord’s Prayer. “Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil” is one way of asking God to do just that. We can be specific if we know things that could set off those wandering thoughts. As an example, if someone has hurt us, we can ask God to prevent us from even thinking about revenge (or karma or whatever word fits).
Why do I think such things? I’m not yet perfect. I’m trying, and I’m praying.