Mental Cow Patties

The white fluffy boss of our home has a bad habit. I like to keep her squeaky clean and smelling like the Bath and Body store, since she is allowed on all the furniture. But she has a different set of smell glands. If I let her outside and am not watching closely, she has a tendency to find something gross and roll in it. The stinkier the better. The delight on her doggy face says that she thinks she is in heaven. 

One time she found a big fresh cow patty and bathed herself in it. Wet green slop matted her fur and dripped from her sides. But she ran to me, wagging her tail as though she expected a reward. I know what she was thinking: "Now, let's move on. That didn't change anything. I indulged my darker side for a minute, but you can hardly tell." 

Oh, I could tell alright. She wasn't acceptable until she'd had another bath. I saw things quite differently than she did.

We do that in our minds all the time. How often have we let our thoughts venture into areas that are forbidden. Rather than "take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ," we indulge. We roll around, saturating our minds with ungodly fantasies, desires, and imaginations. We relish the titillating, the tempting, and the "What if..." and tell ourselves it didn't hurt anything. Then we run to God in prayer and pretend He didn't notice.

Satan loves that. He whispers, "It's not sin if you don't actually DO it. You're just planning ahead for 'what if.' You deserve that kind of praise, that lifestyle, or that person's spouse." And we listen. We prefer to believe the lie that it doesn't matter until we act on it. We  hold on to lust, unforgivness, and covetousness and tell ourselves that God doesn't notice.

He notices alright, and we're not acceptable until we've had a mental bath. He looks at us the way I look at my silly dog. We're covered in filth, but we're wagging our tails and trying to convince a holy God that nothing changed in our relationship. Sin starts in the imagination. That's where it needs to stop. As my mother used to say, "You can't stop the birds from flying overhead, but you don't have to let them make a nest in your hair."

Thoughts will come. Wrong desires will flash out of nowhere and threaten to start a fire. It is our job to stay vigilant and take them captive. God searches our inner thoughts and knows them before we think them. Ask for His help in overcoming and refuse to roll in the cow patties.


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