The Nature of Evil Thoughts
Proverbs 24:9
The thought of foolishness is sin: and the scorner is an abomination to men.

I. WHAT IS MEANT BY THE "THOUGHT OF FOOLISHNESS"? Folly and sin signify the same thing in Scripture. We are not to understand thoughts of pure speculation as simple acts of the understanding; nor even a thought of sudden and transient inclination towards sin, which arises in our minds before we are aware and which we endeavour to stifle. Though such thoughts are sinful in their first rise and tendency, when the imagination has been long heated or their hearts corrupted by any criminal excess or disorder. We are to understand by a thought of foolishness one of complacency. Such a thought as the will not only consents to entertain, but which the mind delights to dwell and dilate itself upon. These evil thoughts proceed from some vicious reigning passion, or perhaps presumptuous sin. To give way to such vain and foolish thoughts is an argument of a mind very much turned and estranged from God. Such impure and loose thoughts are directly contrary to the fruits of the Spirit, and to those precepts of Holy Scripture which require us to be spiritually-minded. Many mistakenly think there is no sin in dwelling on evil thoughts, so long as they abstain from gross external acts of sin.


1. Take care to be always usefully or at least innocently employed.

2. Carefully examine what those things are which have been most apt to excite evil thoughts in us. And refrain from company, books, and circumstances which influence us for evil.

3. Evil thoughts frequently arise from prevailing natural temper.

4. Live under a constant sense of God's presence and inspection over us.

5. All rules and directions will avail but little toward the better government of our thoughts without the illuminating and sanctifying graces of the Spirit of God.

(R. Fiddes, D.D.)

Parallel Verses
KJV: The thought of foolishness is sin: and the scorner is an abomination to men.

WEB: The schemes of folly are sin. The mocker is detested by men.

The Thought of Foolishness
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