First of all, I noticed that this is one of the more inward concepts about charity. It is something that we do – on our own – and it can’t be seen by others.
Charity thinketh no evil…I have to admit, there are times when I have a problem with this.
Christ explains the issue – with our inward thoughts and how they affect us, entirely:
“And he said, That which cometh out of the man, that defileth the man.
For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders,
Thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness:
All these evil things come from within, and defile the man.” – Mark 7:20-21
I know that I have a problem with evil thinking because I still have a problem with sinning. I know that if I think about my sins, which I realize that I should, I would see that they all have one thing in common: They start in my brain.
King Benjamin wisely taught:
“But this much I can tell you, that if ye do not watch yourselves, and your thoughts, and your words, and your deeds, and observe the commandments of God, and continue in the faith of what ye have heard concerning the coming of our Lord, even unto the end of your lives, ye must perish. And now, O man, remember, and perish not.” – Mosiah 4:30
We must watch our thoughts, words, and deeds. As I think about this scripture, I realize that if we watch our thoughts, we don’t have to “watch” our words and deeds so much. Watching our thoughts, and keeping them pure will help us to say kind words and do good deeds.
Making sure that we don’t think evil seems fundamental to charity. It increases the love we feel from the Lord and the love we ultimately show to others. We can’t do this if we taint our mind with evil thoughts.
In Paul’s epistle to Titus, he states:
“Unto the pure all things are pure: but unto them that are defiled and unbelieving is nothing pure; but even their mind and conscience is defiled.” – Titus 1:15
Interestingly enough, we see here that when we sin, we reinforce that bad behavior in our brains. I know that there is science behind this, too. We do things (good or bad), and create neural pathways in our brains – that get stronger over time or based on the strength of the initial experience. If what we’re doing is sinning, our mind is defiled, and soon nothing is pure.
I’m fascinated by this idea. I once knew someone who was addicted to p*rnography. It was horrible. Because of this addiction, he wasn’t able to look at any image without thinking of it in a vile way. I felt so sad for him – nothing was pure for him.
So, we need to be charitable, full of Christ’s love, and thinking righteous uplifting thoughts – no evil. As we do, we create an environment in our mind that will lead us to righteous words, deeds, and habits. Everything around us will be more pure and beautiful. Our experience will be better, in general.
I love this idea. Sometimes I’m plagued with “evil” thoughts – even in the most ridiculous ways.
Today, I was shopping for jeans. I have to admit, I still haven’t lost my baby weight. This is really depressing for me. I had to get new jeans, though, and I knew that it wouldn’t be a fun trip.
I got to the store, tried on a few pairs, and felt pretty much horrible. I was tempted to think, I hate my body. I wanted to say that to myself, but I’ve been trying not to. Because I know that my body is a temple. It is a gift from God. Even if I have a larger “stature” than I’d like, I’m still grateful for my body.
I fought for this body. It is a blessing.
Today, in the dressing room, I wanted to throw my hands up, say, forget it, I hate my butt, and then eat a piece of cheesecake. But, I realized that these thoughts were evil They don’t come from the Lord. They don’t sustain me, and they won’t help me achieve my goals.
I had to take the time to think differently – I love my body. I love that it works. And, instead of getting a cheesecake, I got a salad…All those good choices led to much better thoughts (even though the jeans were bigger than I’d like!)
What do you do to think righteously? How do you combat evil thoughts?