“Committing murder in our thoughts”
Wherefore slew he him?
—1 John 3:12
Read 1 John 3:11-17
We often have the notion that what we think is nobody else’s business. If we actually do something wrong, we assent to being punished. But when it comes to thoughts, most of us consider them our own private concern. This idea is clearly rebutted in 1 John 3:15, which tells us that when we hate someone we are a murderer. Even our thought processes are under the scrutiny of God’s law. A murderer cannot receive eternal life except he repents. The sixth commandment not only forbids wrongful deeds, but also the attitudes of our heart.
When we consider this truth, how many sins have we not already committed in our lives? Just think of the implications of the sixth commandment in connection with our thoughts. Do not let these implications go in one ear and out the other. Confess your sinful thoughts to the Lord and ask Him for forgiveness.
Confess your sins of thought. Ask for grace to change your behaviour toward your fellow man and break with an attitude of in-difference, for it is a snare of the devil. The sixth commandment contains certain prohibitions, but it also gives us a command to love our neighbour. Neither hate nor enmity governs the Kingdom of God; it is ruled by true love.
What does God forbid in the sixth commandment?