7,8 "But if through my lie God's truth abounds to His glory, why am I still being condemned as a sinner? And why not do evil that good may come?"
Romans 3:7-8 (ESV)
Do you ever rationalize a questionable behavior you have? Maybe it’s something you really enjoy doing, but you know isn't quite in line with God's standard. We creatively and slyly find ways to twist and contort what's going on to sound like it isn't that bad, or even that some good is being produced. Maybe it’s something like downloading music illegally or watching a show or movie with vulgar content.
Or maybe you’ve convinced yourself not to do something. We can always tell ourselves we don’t have the time to put in extra work and improve. What makes this dangerous is that sometimes our excuses can be legitimate: school work, student groups, significant other, etc. We convince ourselves it isn’t a big deal and everything will be OK, when really, this only stunts our growth and performance and ultimately hurts the team we are on.
We are excellent at rationalizing reasons to do and not do things, especially if it’s something we enjoy. We can always think/say something that makes what we are doing sound good. This happens at all levels of sport and work. But the moment that what we are doing catches up to us or is found out, we call foul and play the victim. We feel cheated or robbed when our actions reach their logical outcome. But, when we are honest, we can see exactly why things turned out the way they did.
We need to recognize and fight this in our lives. We first must look inward and honestly assess ourselves and our conduct and perhaps ask a trustworthy friend to help us detect these tendencies in us. This can be tough, and it may even feel like overkill as we see these actions continue in those around us. But remember, our standard isn’t other people but God, and nothing is worth saving compared to the life He promises! (See Matthew 5:48; Mark 9:43-48)
Once we have evaluated ourselves and prayerfully asked God for help to change, we are better equipped to lovingly approach others in our lives who may be doing similar things. We can then gently, humbly and gracefully help open their eyes to the results that lie at the end of their actions.
Do I have any questionable thoughts, habits or actions I cater to in order to allow them to continue? Am I convinced myself that not doing something isn’t that big of a deal when it actually might be?