I know we’re not supposed to have bad thoughts about others, but to be honest, what difference does it make? As long as I keep my thoughts to myself, they don’t really hurt anyone, do they?
Yes, harboring bad thoughts about other people always hurts someone—it hurts you. The reason is because they aren’t just innocent thoughts. Behind them are other emotions, such as anger, jealousy, envy, or pride—any one of which will harm you.
The Bible repeatedly warns us about the danger of evil or prideful thoughts—and we should take its warnings very seriously. Even if we hide them from others, God knows what is going on in our minds, and He also knows the harm that comes because of them. The Bible says, “I the Lord search the heart and examine the mind” (Jeremiah 17:10).
Why are bad thoughts about others so harmful? One reason is because they not only poison our souls and distort our personalities, but they also cut us off from others. Instead of loving them and seeking to help them, we turn our backs on them—which is wrong. The Bible says, “This is the message you heard from the beginning: We should love one another” (1 John 3:11).
Commit your life—including your mind—to Jesus Christ. Remember: you may have bad thoughts about others—but He has no bad thoughts about you! He loves you with an everlasting love—a love so great that He was willing to give His life for your salvation. Open your heart and life to Him today. Then ask Him to cleanse your mind and heart of evil thoughts, and to help you love others the same way He loves you. And if bad thoughts arise, crowd them out with prayer.