In the bible it says that it is a sin to even think of commiting a sin but isn’t that just temptation? When I was in school I was taught temptation on its own isn’t a sin, only when you act on that temptation
Jesus said that if a man lusted after a woman in his heart he had committed adultry. See Matthew Chapter 5
"You have heard that it was said, 'You shall not commit adultery.'
28 But I say to you, everyone who looks at a woman with lust has already committed adultery with her in his heart.
Jesus deepens the Christian life. We are called to account for the lusts of our heart for where your heart is that is where you exist. This ‘lust’ of heart is more than mere temptation. This lust is a living out of the desire in your heart and mind, whether you actually act upon the lust or not.
We are called to be Christ to the world; to witness the Gospel massage. Can a person be a good witness to Christ, living out the Gospel message of faith, hope and love while at the same time indulging in ‘sinfull fantasies’? For example, can a man truly love his wife as Jesus would want if he spends his waking moments in fantasy sex with the neighbor whether he acts upon the fantasy or not?
Sin begins in our mind and heart…a speration from Christ, whose place is to dwell in us…
To those who have been given much, much is expected…
Jesus brings the Good News of Salvation to Christians, we will stand at the judgement and give an accounting for our lives…visiting the imprisoned, giving drink to the thirsty, food to the hungry…“Whatever you do to he least of my brethren, you do unto me”
Lust of the heart, as you describe it, can be considered “acting upon” a temptation. Temptation (including temptation to lust) itself is not sin. From Fr. Hardon’s online Catholic dictionary:
**TEMPTATION. **Solicitation to sin, whether by persuasion or offering some pleasure. It may arise from the world, the flesh, or the devil. Temptation from the world is the attractiveness of bad example and the psychological pressure to conform. Temptations from the flesh are all the urges of concupiscence, whether carnal or spiritual, where man’s fallen nature has built-in tendencies to the seven capital sins. Demonic temptations arise from *instigations *of the evil spirit, whose method is to encourage every form of avarice or selfishness, in order to lead one to pride, and through pride to all other sins (emphasis added).
A temptation, properly speaking, is when something is presented before our eyes or in our thoughts. Anything after that – the carrying through of the temptation (including actual lust, for example) – is where it turns into sin.
I agree and that was the message I was trying to get across. That you can commit sinful acts associated with actions “in your heart” even if you never outwardly follow through. Purely being tempted but immediately resisting the temptation is not the sin of the heart, that I believe Jesus is speaking of…
Thanks guys this was something I was actually wondering about for a long time