For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles in one point, he has become guilty of all. James 2:10
If I say “sin,” chances are that what comes to mind most readily are the big, glaring and obvious ones. Lying, cheating, stealing, murder, rape — the violent stuff that hurts others and deprives them of their just due or rips their fairly earned possessions from their hands or physically violates their body. However, the Bible makes it clear that less tangible issues of anger, pride, selfishness and more are just as sinful even though they are easier to overlook or excuse. Nonetheless, Jesus made no bones about the fact that even entertaining the thought of sin is sin. Attitudinal sins or fantasies of sinning, whether I actually follow through and carry them out or not, looks the same to God as the worst perpetrator of violent crime.
If I let my mind dwell on vengeance, self-righteous justifications, my own convenience and comfort, obtaining power and recognition, I allow the desire for my own agenda consume and fill my thoughts more than God. I am fixing my mind on admiring or longing after, finding value in things that make God cry.
Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap. Galatians 6:7
Elevating the denial of my need for God and setting arrogance and independent self-reliance above all else, seeking to conform more to worldly patterns and social norms than to Him and His standards grieves His heart and shipwrecks my faith and makes my soul sick. It is just as deadly to my heart and mind as violence is to the body. I cannot excuse sin just because it is mental and attitudinal and ignore that it is just as destructive as outwardly active sin.
…They would not openly acknowledge their faith for fear they would be put out of the synagogue; for they loved human praise more than praise from God. John 12:43
I need to line up my thoughts and attitudes with God’s and see people and situations from His perspective. I need to fix my mind on Him as my highest good, not worldly standards and popularity. When I seek to be like Him, known by His reputation and character and not by the ways of those who reject and disdain their need for Him; when I let Him shape me into the person He wants me to be rather than clinging to Western notions of the independent “self-made man” and chasing the illusions of power, prestige and self-indulgence, I will receive the far greater treasure of life and pleasure in Him. I should be more concerned with my spiritual reputation and future with God than my worldly standing before men.
Do not fear those who kill the body but are unable to kill the soul; but rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell. Matthew 10:28
Be strong and courageous for the LORD your GOD will be with you wherever you go. Joshua 1:9
I am not ashamed for I KNOW in Whom I have believed and am convinced that He is able to guard that which I have entrusted to Him until that day. 2 Timothy 2:12