“And when they saw him afar off, even before he came near unto them, they conspired against him to slay him. And they said one to another, Behold, this dreamer cometh. Come now therefore, and let us slay him, and cast him into some pit, and we will say, Some evil beast hath devoured him: and we shall see what will become of his dreams. And Reuben heard it, and he delivered him out of their hands; and said, Let us not kill him.”Genesis 37:18-21
It is amazing the depths you will go when you have hatred towards someone, whether the reason is valid or not. You will go to great lengths to cause destruction, and some have gone all the way and taken the life of another. Some murderous acts have been planned, and some just let the heat of the moment carry over into the ultimate act of murder. I have lost two friends due to this sinful act, but I have to be honest and admit I have had some of these thoughts myself.
I used to work at a place where my boss was not always the easiest person to work for. He served four years in the Marine Corp and I believe the Corp took all of his patience from him before he left. He once told me the best thing about the Marines was that there was no Human Resources. If there was ever a day he was nice and decent, that day would be followed by four days of intimidation, anger, and disgust. He had high expectations for me and he definitely pulled out the best in me, but at a great cost to my well being and psyche. He had made a residence in my head and was living rent free in there, long after I left work each day. I would cringe and my stomach would turn as soon as I saw his car in the parking lot. I tried to avoid him at all costs, but in a retail store, this is not the easiest thing to do.
He would get angry with me, and at times, I thought he was going to do me physical harm. The days he made me mad, anger would boil inside of me, and I thought of ways to settle the score and get even. I thought of ways to get him in trouble and let others know of his treatment, but they already knew and it would only cost me my job. As the days went by, more anger and disdain for him grew and grew until evil thoughts filled my head. I even thought to pay him back by taking his life, and I am ashamed to tell you this is where I allowed myself to go. I never took action on those thoughts, but I played out the scenario over and over in my head, trying to rationalize my wicked actions. I thank God He kept me from such foolishness, and that He helped me turn the anger inside me into prayer for my boss who did not know Christ.
I think of Joseph’s brothers and the disdain they had for their brother, so much so that they were willing to kill him as if were no big deal. They were jealous of him and this was compounded by the dreams he shared with them that depicted Joseph as ruling over them. Reuben was the only voice of reason, and although his plan was not murder, it was still wicked and ungodly. Our hateful actions and wicked thoughts do not take into account the lives of others, as we simply get tunnel vision with anger and hate. We do not see the aftermath of our actions, and quite frankly, we simply don’t care. We demand our own justice, and we take matters into our own hands. Our hearts become cold to God’s Word because of the hate in our heart.
Is there someone in your life towards whom you have wicked thoughts? Are you filled with hatred towards others? Do you cast these cares on God, or do you carry these burdens in your heart against another? Are you jealous of someone, and is that is causing you to have a bitter heart towards them? If we will not make these thoughts right with God, we are playing with fire and the wicked thoughts we think will turn into actions. It also works when our thoughts are right and pleasing to God, as this also plays out in our actions. Whom do you need to forgive? Whom do you need to pray for? Philippians 4:8 states, “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest (noble), whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any(thing) praise(worthy), think on these things.” May we repent of our wicked thoughts, and may we instead dwell on these things that are listed in these verse. What will you choose to dwell on today?