For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false witness, slander.
Matthew 15:19 ESV
Jesus was definitely on the nature side of the nature Vs. nurture debate. We’re not evil because of our upbringing so much as because of our very natures. Evil isn’t something “out there” that we imbibe, it’s something that comes from within.
When we think bad thoughts, we only have our evil hearts to blame. When we wish someone’s death upon them, Jesus says it’s like we’ve committed murder in our hearts. Murder begins in the heart and travels to the mind before it is executed by the hands.
Similarly with adultery. If we fantasise about sleeping with someone who isn’t our heterosexual, monogamous spouse, it’s like we’ve committed adultery in our hearts. Even if we’re innocent of the act, we may well be guilty of the thought. Likewise with any sexual activity outside of heterosexual, monogamous marriage.
Why do people steal? Covetousness and greed incite them to take what isn’t theirs. And again, it all starts in the heart. Why do people lie and slander others? It’s because our hearts are naturally evil. We need a spiritual heart transplant!
“Dear Lord, please remove our evil hearts and replace them with pure hearts that seek after You. Please cut out anything in our lives that isn’t helpful, and let us hunger and thirst for You alone. For Your glory, amen”