One night, I was curled up on the Den couch reading this charming book when Rachel plodded out and said she could not get to sleep and had scary thoughts in her head. We read some of the book together and then Emily appeared as well.
After reading one of the entries, God just provided a moment for me to share with the girls something it took me years and years to learn.
"Do you think it is a sin when a bad or scary thought comes into our head?", I asked. One answered yes and one answered no. Indeed, exactly why it took me so long to get my head around this perhaps?
I tried to explain that the thought itself isn't a sin if I didn't sit there and try to think up something bad or scary. It is only a sin when I say yes to it.
Then, I told them I like to picture it like this ...
There is a Deputy standing at the door of your mind. In my mind, it is Jesus Himself standing there judging the thoughts that come knocking at the door.
When a thought comes up to the door of my mind, the Deputy is there standing guard. He will either say, "Howdy, come on in." or "You're under arrest." The good things are allowed in and the bad things are sent down the hall in handcuffs. It is our choice to say yes or no to the thoughts and then to replace any bad thoughts with things that are true, noble, right, etc.
2 Corinthians 10:5, "We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ."