The thoughts of the righteous are right: but the counsels of the wicked are deceit.
What do you think about? Your thoughts prove your real character. Others may not know your thoughts, but God does (Heb 4:12), and He will treat you accordingly. Are you righteous or wicked in your thoughts? Even the thought of foolishness is sin (Pr 24:9).
The difference between the righteous and wicked is enormous – with great consequences for this life and the next (Pr 3:33; 10:7; 11:31; 12:21; 14:11; 15:8,29; 24:19-20; Ps 58:1-11; 112:1-10; Matt 25:31-46). You are one or the other: you make the choice every day.
Where does this difference originate? In the thoughts and counsels of the heart! Solomon in this proverb made a simple observation, but it is your privilege to learn the lesson. Righteousness or wickedness begins in the thoughts, and so you should rule all of them.
Keep your heart with all diligence, for out of it are the issues of life (Pr 4:23). “A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil” (Lu 6:45).
The heart is the source of emotions, but it is also the source of motives and choices, for you choose what you desire and love. Therefore, you must rule and teach your heart to love things that are right and to hate those things that are evil (Pr 8:13; Ps 119:128).
But there is a problem – a terrible problem! Because of inherited wickedness from Adam, the father of all men, your heart is corrupt and perverse (Pr 20:9). It is written, “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?” (Jer 17:9).
The only hope you have is God’s mercy in Jesus Christ, Who gives new hearts to His elect and writes His laws in them and in their minds (Je 31:33; Heb 8:10; 10:26). Without this new creation, your heart is at war against God (Pr 28:26; Gen 6:5; Mark 7:20-23).
The thought of foolishness is sin (Pr 24:9), and it leads to sin (Jas 1:13-16). The wicked think about sin often, without thoughts of God (Ps 10:4; 36:4; Mic 2:1). They fantasize about adultery (Pr 6:25); they scorn correction (Pr 26:16); they devise evil (Pr 6:18).
The righteous meditate on the law of God and right things (Ps 1:1-3; 119:97). They are committed to doing what is right in the sight of God. When they fall and sin, they confess their folly, repent of their wickedness, and pursue God yet again (I Jn 1:9; Rom 7:14-23).
Do you hate and resent the world’s bad thinking, false ideas, and wrong opinions? Do you trust God’s word and love the truth and wisdom found there? God hates and resents the world’s thoughts (Ps 94:11; Pr 15:26; Rom 1:19-27). David said, “I hate vain thoughts: but thy law do I love” (Ps 119:113). He also said, “Therefore I esteem all thy precepts concerning all things to be right; and I hate every false way” (Ps 119:128).
What should you do? Confess sinful thoughts (Ps 51:10)! Beg God to search your thoughts (Ps 19:14; 139:23-24). Ask Him to incline your heart to good things (Ps 86:11; 119:36; 141:4). Fill your mind with His words, good preaching, and good music (Luke 4:4; Ac 17:11; Col 3:16). Choose to transform all your thinking (Ro 12:1-2; Ep 4:22-24).
What else should you do? Remember that the world’s thoughts and counsels are corrupt and wicked. The world lies to you every day. The more you listen or watch, the more lies you believe. If you like their ideas, you are deceived. The inputs you daily allow through ears and eyes will lead you either to thoughts of truth and wisdom or of lies and folly.
The world thinks disrespecting parents is okay, fornication is only casual sex, abortion is a woman’s right, foolish talking is funny, drunkenness can be cool, labor unions are needed against owners, short hair and skirts on girls are chic, attending church is only if convenient, same-sex marriages are fine, and countless other insane and wicked ideas.
Evil communications corrupt good manners (I Cor 15:33). If you associate with worldly thinkers, they will corrupt you to think about their folly and lies. If you associate with godly Christians, they will convict you to think about wisdom and truth. The inputs to your heart and mind are very important, so carefully guard your choice of friends, entertainment, music, Internet surfing, television, Facebook friends, church, etc., etc.
Find a church where the pastor fulfills his job description in the Bible – preaching God’s word without apology or compromise to throw down your wrong ideas and capture all your thoughts for obedience to Christ (II Tim 4:2-4; II Cor 10:4-6). This will not be a popular or growing church in these perilous times of the last days, but Noah’s church was small (8 members) and only a few disciples waited in Jerusalem for Pentecost (120).
The best thoughts are those God inspired in the Bible for learning wisdom and truth, like these proverbs of King Solomon. If you read the Bible daily with a meditative desire to learn wisdom and truth, and if you possibly memorize some of its verses, you can fill your mind with wonderful things to think about regardless of your condition or situation (Ps 1:1-3; 19:7-11; 119:11; Jer 15:16). Make today your best day of thoughts ever!