Hebrews 4:15 For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have One who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet was without sin.
Jesus tells us that thoughts of sin are counted as sin.
Matthew 5:21-22, 27-28
21 “You have heard that it was said to the people long ago, ‘Do not murder, and anyone who murders will be subject to judgment.’ 22 But I tell you that anyone who is angry with his brother will be subject to judgment. Again, anyone who says to his brother, ‘Raca,’ is answerable to the Sanhedrin. But anyone who says, ‘You fool!’ will be in danger of the fire of hell.
27 “You have heard that it was said, ‘Do not commit adultery.’ 28 But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.
When does the thought of temptation become a sin?
Imagine if your neighbor’s dog did his doggie duty in your yard, you step in it and begin thinking “Raca” thoughts against your neighbor (“Raca” is an Arabic term for contempt). Your neighbor comes over to get their dog and instead of apologizing, they do not understand why you are so upset. Now you are angry and think they are a fool. You are tempted to put some of the droppings inside your neighbor’s dress shoes. You have not given in to temptation (yet) but you have sinned because of the anger in your heart.
What is important?
1. Watch where you are stepping.
2. Watch the condition of your heart.
3. Ask the Lord to fill your heart with good thoughts, actions, and reactions.
Luke 6:45 The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For out of the overflow of his heart his mouth speaks.
How does the Lord fill your heart with good things?