Have you ever caught yourself scheming silently? Having imaginary conversations with people, standing up for yourself, planning what you want to say or do? I call these the fake conversations in my head. Maybe it’s just me, but I struggle with them from time to time. Life’s not fair. Awful things happen. This is just a fact. Friendships are hard sometimes. Marriages are hard sometimes. Families are hard. Medical issues are hard. Parenting is hard. The list goes on and on.
I’m not sure I’d fare that well in a physical fight, but wow; if you could hear the arsenal of words I rehearse in my head, you’d run for the hills! Sometimes I replay conversations I’ve already had and sometimes I make up conversations I wish I could have had.
Recently, I came across some Scripture about how God hates it when we think this way, and honestly, I was disappointed. Really God? Even after all I’ve been through? You can’t agree with me just this once? You won’t banter back and forth about how he’s a jerk and she’s a backstabber? It’s only in my head. I’m not saying anything bad out loud! That’s one thing I’ve never coerced God to do. He just won’t go there with me. I can rally plenty of people to join my cause, but He won’t stoop to that level. In fact, He says He can’t stand it.
Maybe you’ve never considered your thoughts as evil schemes. Neither had I. Scripture says, “… as he thinks in his heart, so is he” (Proverbs 23:7 NKJV). And Jesus even takes it further to say, “Anyone who hates a brother or sister is a murderer …” (1 John 3:15 NIV). Ouch!
And then there’s the kicker. God can’t stand evil scheming, but he puts words of grace and beauty on display. Proverbs 15:26 MSG
God’s Word is clear. It’s wrong to scheme, plan, and think on evil things, even if they’re justified. What’s beautiful about this verse, though, is that God doesn’t just say that it’s wrong and leave it at that. He also highlights what is right! The second half of this verse says God “puts words of grace and beauty on display.” There it is. The answer. Right after the problem. Speak words of beauty and grace. And you know what happens when you do? When I do? My heart changes. I start to see those people, those situations, those problems through the eyes of the risen King.
It’s obvious to me that what we say matters. And what we think matters, too. After all, God created the people who cause us harm, knowing exactly what they would do and say, and He loves them all the same as He loves me. As I turn to Him and His ways, He slowly chips away at the anger, the bitterness, the scheming, and the hurt. The conversations in my head become different, better, changed. Having fake conversations isn’t bad. Practicing the right conversations is the hard part. Challenge accepted, God.