Accidentally Planning to Do Evil

small sins are sinsThose who plan evil go down the wrong path. But those who plan good find love and truth.
Proverbs 14:22 (NIRV)

I don’t often plan to do evil, but sometimes I slip into it.

Like when the small internal voice says “They won’t notice if you take just a little.” as I splash milk into my coffee from someone’s pint in the shared fridge. Checking that no one’s looking proves I’m aware of my offense. I taste a hint of guilt in my first sip but by the second sip I’m in the clear. It’s not a big deal. I needed it.

Is this stealing? You might say no, but my conscience says yes. By definition, taking another person’s property without permission is stealing.

Did I plan to steal? Of course not! Then again, my quick check for witnesses betrays my plan to be quick and just take a little (of what wasn’t mine). So yes, I planned it. My stealing was not accidental.

Is this evil? Not really, but thieves start with CVS candy, not the Bank of America. My quick splash was an offense against a fellow student. It was wrong. Unchecked, it could lead to regularly assuming someone will have milk. After all, isn’t a pint stored in the shared fridge available for use?

Suddenly I’m just using milk, not someone’s personal property. It doesn’t feel like an offense and yet I am planning to do wrong. We might not call this evil, but in God’s eyes wrong is wrong. We all fall short.

Fortunately, the proverb follows the warning with the goal: Plan good to find love and truth. Plan good, my friends, plan good.

Does your small internal voice warn you to stop?
When have you ignored the voice and done something you knew was wrong?

explore these other posts:
One Time I Resisted Temptation 
What is Sin?
The Good New of Grace and Forgiveness


#SeedsofScripture #proverbs #whatissin


  1. Erin Casey on February 24, 2020 at 6:51 PM

    Yesterday someone told me about a sign that sits on top of her mother-in-law’s television. It says, “How dare we be entertained by the things that sent Jesus to the cross.” The sign is meant to make her family aware and more intentional about their entertainment choices. I found it incredibly convicting. I don’t feel like I watch things that are “bad,” but when I reflect on what is holy and what is worldly, I know there are huge discrepancies in my choices. I pray the Holy Spirit will nudge me into wiser and more holy choices.

    • CathyChung on February 24, 2020 at 8:03 PM

      Wow Erin! That’s a great sign, front and center where the rubber meets the road. Yes, we don’t think we’re doing anything bad, but I find small things all the time, mental judgments for things I myself am guilty of, that kind of thing. Thank you God for Grace!

  2. J.D. Wininger on February 25, 2020 at 5:45 AM

    Great post Ms. Cathy. “No not one” was screaming in my head as I started to read your post. It’s very true, we are all guilty, every day. I’ve done the very same offense in the past; and yes, my conscience would give me away that my wrong was indeed, wrong. I would often easily “justify” my wrong by telling myself “It’s okay, they’ve used mine too.”, but in reality I realized wrong is wrong. You are so right when you state how little things can lead to bigger and bigger things. I think that’s one of Satan’s tricks isn’t it? If I can get them thinking that stealing cream for coffee isn’t really a sin, then it’s not too many more steps before they realize that taking a baby’s life isn’t either. After all, isn’t life all about how convenient we can make it for ourselves? Wonderful lesson here my friend. Perhaps that’s why I’ve tried to always be the guy would would put a whole bottle of creamer in the fridge at work. Still though, I was the first one to fuss when it was empty and I needed more cream for my coffee. Off to someone else’s coffee room I go. 🙂

    • CathyChung on February 25, 2020 at 8:21 AM

      J.D. I love you! You always take my little thought and expand it so beautifully! You nailed it when you said it’s all about how convenient we can make it for ourselves. I’m not surprised you’re the guy to put a whole bottle of creamer in the fridge.

  3. Barbara L. Latta on February 25, 2020 at 8:09 AM

    You made some great points, Cathy. Most people would not think of using coffee creamer that is not yours as stealing. Taking a pencil from the office wouldn’t be stealing. But when we know Christ, the Holy Spirit gives us a sensitive conscience and those little things are made known to us. Even if a person does not realize what they are doing, it is still stealing. The difference is when it is recognized and dealt with. Great thoughts to ponder!

    • CathyChung on February 25, 2020 at 8:22 AM

      You’re right Barbara. The Holy Spirit convicts us if we’ll listen. I passed a piece of garbage yesterday and the internal voice said “pick it up”. I walked past and then had to turn back to get it because that little voice is God. Life is better when we listen.

  4. Emily | To Unearth on February 25, 2020 at 9:19 AM

    It’s hard to understand how even “little” wrongs are still sinful in God’s eyes, but I’m so thankful for the nudging of the Holy Spirit in moments like that! I did this with my attitude just this past weekend. I was really, really frustrated with a situation, and I thought since I wasn’t frustrated at my husband, just at the situation, then it was OK for me to express that anger. But the Spirit convicted me that that was just an excuse for unrighteous and selfish anger. I’ve been doing a lot of praying since that conviction. 🙂

  5. Katherine Pasour on February 25, 2020 at 9:06 PM

    If we are honest, I expect everyone nodded their heads as they were reading your message. Of course we’ve done those “little” things that seem mostly benign, but can tempt us into more. I’m thinking of relationships–perhaps we are too friendly with a co-worker of the opposite gender. Would our spouse approve of a “business” lunch that could be taken care of in a brief office exchange instead? Or something I’m guilty of–driving a little too fast and saying, “Well, everyone else is going 5 to 10 miles over the limit. What’s the harm?” Thanks for your thought provoking message.

    • CathyChung on February 26, 2020 at 2:58 PM

      Doesn’t everybody drive 10 miles over the speed limit? I usually just go with the flow, which is always over the speed limit. Excellent example Katherine. We make our own rules. A stop sign is another good one. We pause and glide through until we either get caught or we get hit – hopefully without any injuries.

  6. Julie Lavender on February 27, 2020 at 11:38 PM

    Cathy, thanks for sharing …. it can be so easy for me to think, “Well, I know that wasn’t exactly right, but, at least it’s not as bad as ….” And, how wrong and sinful I am to even entertain that thought! Thank you for the “stepping-on-my-toes” reminder!

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