Vain Thoughts


Wash your heart from evil, O Jerusalem, that you may be saved. How long will your wicked thoughts lodge within you? – Jeremiah 4:14 – NASB

O Jerusalem, cleanse your heart from evil so that you may be saved. Until when will your vain thoughts lodge within you? – LITV

Christianity purifies a person from the inside out. Our thoughts, brethren, are important to God. When God demands repentance, He demands not merely that we quit sinful ways, but also sinful thoughts. How sad the man or woman who desires to enjoy their sin but cannot act it out due to constraint? Perhaps he or she is at work and cannot get away, therefore the sinful desires are acted out in the mind. The emotions and will for it become the audience, and the sinful thoughts are enjoyed so much, the replay button is hit again and again. When a persons thought life becomes nothing more than a playhouse for sin, the judgment of God is at the door.

Vain thoughts – Something useless, false, foolish, sinful, empty; they serve no purpose and always lead to sin. For example, not being able to turn common, everyday stuff into examples of things for our eternal good. Jeremiah compares the heart to a hotel. Anybody can come into the lobby but no one can lodge there unless management approves. Thoughts can come in without control, but you can control what lodges or stays there. Any child of God refuses to let sinful thoughts stay. (Greg Mills)

“You have seen,” said Spurgeon, “the greatest reservoirs provided by our water companies, in which the water to supply thousands of houses is kept. Now the heart is the reservoir of man, and our life is allowed to flow in its proper season. That life may flow through different pipes – the mouth, the hand, the eye; but still all the issues of hand, eye, of lip derive their source from the great fountain and central reservoir, the heart; and hence there is great necessity for keeping this reservoir in a proper state and condition, since otherwise that which flows through the pipes must be tainted and corrupt.” How long will thy vain thoughts lodge within thee?

Those thoughts are vain:

  1. From which we do not and cannot reap any good.
  2. Which cannot associate in any agreement with useful and valuable ones.
  3. Which have to be kept out in order for the mind to attend to any serious and good purpose.
  4. Which dwell largely and habitually on trifling things.
  5. Which trifle with important things.
  6. Which are fickle, not remaining with any continuance on a subject.
  7. When the mind has some specially favorite trifle, some cherished, idolized toy.
  8. Which continually return to things justly claiming a measure of attention, when the thinking of them can be no advantage.
  9. When the mind dwells on fancies of how things might be or might have been, when the reality of how they are is before us.
  10. Which men indulge concerning notions and scheming’s of worldly felicity. (Foster)