“A heart that devises wicked plans” (Proverbs 6:16-18).
It is fatal and false to conceive of sin as simply an external evil. Jesus strongly rebuked the Pharisees for such flawed thinking (Matthew 23:25-28).
Since the genesis for external behavior is the heart (Mark 7:20-23), sinful plans—regardless of whether they are carried out—are abhorred by the holy God.
Jesus could not be more plain-spoken about this in the Sermon on the Mount:
- Murderous hands are sinful, and so is a hostile and angry heart (Matthew 5:21-22).
- Adultery is sin, and so is a lustful heart (Matthew 5:27-28).
- Mouths which speak false oaths are evil, and so are the hearts which lack the integrity to be a person of your word (Matthew 5:33-37).
Wicked actions are abhorred by God. Equally abominated are the wicked hearts which plan the actions.