John MacArthur had a great sermon series dealing with sins of the mind. A key theme was that these are the most dangerous sins, for there is nothing to keep you accountable to them except your conscience, and visible sins are always preceded by sins of the mind.
As Jesus outlines here, we are accountable to God for what do and what we think.
Matthew 21-22 “You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not murder; and whoever murders will be liable to judgment.’ But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment; whoever insults his brother will be liable to the council; and whoever says, ‘You fool!’ will be liable to the hell of fire.”
Matthew 27-28 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart.
His advice on dealing with sins of the mind:
- Confess and forsake them
- Refuse to entertain the thoughts — Job 31:1 I have made a covenant with my eyes; how then could I gaze at a virgin?
- Replace the thoughts — Philippians 4:8 – Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.
- Feed on the word of God
- Avoid evil attractions
- Cultivate the love of God