… the law had said, thou shalt not covet. (Romans 7:7)
Having listened to people talk, I have heard variations on the theme of “there’s no harm in looking” (or its variant “I’m married, not dead”) or “no harm in thinking”. While these may sound cute or possible funny, we are to judge all things by the Scriptures, and from them we get a different picture.
We are not supposed to covet – this is a mental attitude; a thought life concerning “stuff” that belongs to another person.
The “harm” is that as we dwell upon something that should not be ours, our thoughts can take on imagination of what it would be like if it were ours. From thence, we can think about ways to make it ours, and can find ourselves thinking about ways to discredit or harm the person to whom the thing we covet belongs.
In some cases, it moves beyond just thinking, and actions are put into place. Even if we never move to actions, we are bound to think ill of the person.
And it started with dwelling upon that which belongs to another.
So, “no harm in thinking”?
Yes, it hurts.