Do they not go astray who devise evil? But mercy and truth belong to those who devise good. (Proverbs 14:22)
What does it mean to "devise evil?" Well, it is simply the planning of evil, not even the fulfilling of it. Likewise to devise good is the planning of good without necessarily accomplishing it. 1 Samuel 16:7 explains it this way, "For the Lord does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart." We therefore do not have to fulfill evil to be evil. God says in essence that the planning of evil is what makes one evil. If you find yourself thinking and dwelling on things that are harmful, hateful or just plain sinful, stop. You are or have already gone astray. Begin purposefully to devise good in your mind toward those with whom you have been thinking evil of. In so doing you will be merciful as well as find mercy. And that truth will bring you peace of mind.