Giving An Accounting
"For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive what is due him for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad." - 2 Corinthians 5:10
Everyone who has ever lived will have to give an account of words, as well as deeds, before God, in a judgment. But what about our thoughts? Will we have to "give an account" of our thoughts, as well as our words and deeds? The Bible has much to say about our thoughts, as well as our words and actions. Matthew 12:36-37; Isaiah 55:6.
We are commanded to "forsake" our evil thoughts, and resist them even as we strive to forsake our wrong words and deeds. At the least, we must strive to resist evil thoughts in order to resist wrong words and deeds (Proverbs 4:23-27). Jesus makes it clear that we must account for even an idle word, as well as our deeds. And by our words we shall be condemned, and by our words we will be justified. As a friend reminded me recently, be careful with words because you can't get them back. There is no way to unring a bell.
Neither can we get our thoughts back. We can only resist ringing the bell again (Matthew 12:37). There is no direct statement in God's Word that our thoughts must be accounted for separate from our words. But we are instructed to forsake our natural unrighteous thoughts (Proverbs 23:7). A thought must occur prior to words. Therefore, thoughts and words are part of a whole, and part of the process that results in spoken words, and also actions. Thoughts are formed in the heart - good thoughts and evil thoughts (Mark 7:21-23). Wrong thoughts and words are part of the condition of the spirit or heart in man void of the Holy Spirit's influence. In the giving of an account for our words, we automatically reveal the thoughts that led to the words, and also our actions, that God knew before they ever formed in our minds.
This is the reason Jesus did not need to specify accounting for our thoughts. Our thoughts have already been manifested in words and actions. God has always known our thoughts, and what we did or did not say or do as the result of them. When we account for our words and actions, we also manifest what our thoughts have been. They are all part of the whole of who we have been.
Therefore, we all must account for all that we have been - thoughts, words, and actions. Wrong thoughts can and must be resisted by our will, the referee of our minds. If the Holy Spirit dwells in us, He will referee our bad thoughts, and lead us to put them away in the trash dump of our minds. With His help, they can stay there, as He cleanses and purifies our spirit. The wrong thoughts then cannot lead to wrong words, which, in themselves are "actions". A spoken word IS a thought in motion, which can lead to more serious deeds (James 3:1-10). Therefore, when we give our accounting for "every idle word", we will have also revealed an account of our thoughts. Our words and deeds are the fruit of the heart.
If we belong to Christ, we have already been forgiven, and we begin to speak and act according to the Holy Spirit Who, through our thoughts, is producing His fruit in our words and actions. A new person is being created within the heart which takes place deeper than we can discern (Galatians 5:22-25). Our wrong thoughts, words, and deeds, will eventually be made as though they never were. We will have been recreated in the image of Christ.
The old will be gone. We will have been molded into a new creation - a son or daughter of God. Then we can live with Him forever. No more wrong words, deeds - or thoughts.
"Then I heard a mighty voice from the throne and I perceived its distinct words, saying, See! The abode of God is with men, and He will live (encamp, tent) among them; and they shall be His people, and God shall personally be with them and be their God. God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and death shall be no more, neither shall there be anguish (sorrow and mourning) nor grief nor pain any more, for the old conditions and the former order of things have passed away. And He Who is seated on the throne said, See! I make all things new. Also He said, Record this, for these sayings are faithful (accurate, incorruptible, and trustworthy) and true (genuine)." - Revelation 21:3-5 (AMP)