Tag Archives: rationalizing sin

July 19; Don’t Say You Weren’t Warned

Isaiah 47-50

God, through the prophet Isaiah, is talking to his enemies, then to His people, and the message seems to be the same. “Go right ahead and keep doing what you’re doing. But don’t say you weren’t warned.”

Each of them goes on in his error; there is not one that can save you.  (47:15b)

If only you had paid attention to my commands, your peace would have been like a river, your righteousness like the waves of the sea. (48:18)

There is no peace for the wicked. (48:22)

I can’t read the warnings to the ancient Jews recorded here in these chapters in Isaiah without making it personal. There have been times in my life when I’ve done my own thing, gone to church, served on committees, yet held on to a sin and told myself God was okay with it. There are times even today when I can rationalize sin, or tell myself God’s will will be done no matter what I do, and still think I’m a stand-up Christian.

God seems to be telling me today, “Go ahead, Connie. Try to be a Christian on your terms. But don’t say you weren’t warned.”

God has lovingly spelled out His demands, His plan, the Truth so that there can be no excuses. He is God and there is no other. He is the Way and there is no back door. He is the Truth and that Truth is not subjective. And God is very honest to say I either listen to Him and obey, or else. I can come up with my own idea of holiness, obey when I want, worship so I’m satisfied, but that won’t cut it in the end.

But now, all you who light fires and provide yourselves with flaming torches, go, walk in the light of your fires and of the torches you have set ablaze. This is what you shall receive from my hand: You will lie down in torment. (50:11)

Don’t say you weren’t warned.

Feb 9 – You Can Fool Some Of The People Some Of The Time

Exodus 30-32

Really Aaron? “This is the god, O Israel, who brought you up from the land of Egypt”? (32:4) A statue you yourself made from gold, and you want to pass it off as a god? Did you really think your brother Moses was going to believe that you threw some gold earrings into a fire and out popped this idol all by itself? Do you think anyone in his right mind would believe such a story? Are you saying you believe it? Seriously?

Ok, friend. How many times have you (have I) rationalized our own bad behavior? Ever say, “He made me do it”? Ever try to convince someone that God’s ok with you not going to church because you’re working extra hours to get that promotion? Ever try to talk someone into agreeing with you that getting drunk on the weekends doesn’t mean you have a drinking problem? Ever look at Playboy for the great articles?

What was God’s response to Aaron and the sin committed by the children of Israel? Don’t kid yourself into thinking He’s any less angry with us when we disobey.

I can read these verses in Exodus and shake my head at Aaron’s audacity. Then I look in the mirror and realize I look an awfully lot like Aaron.

Maybe in some parallel universe we might get someone to believe a gold calf emerged from a fire on its own. Maybe you might convince someone that the sin you are committing isn’t really a sin after all.

But you will never fool God.

Dear Father, I hate it when I recognize myself in some of the Bible’s accounts. I know there have been times when I rationalize sin in my life, and I am sorry. You have a right to be angry with me. But I don’t want You to be. God, may I identify sin in my life, call it what it is, and repent of it. Stop me when I try to convince myself or someone else that any sin is ok. I lay down all my defenses. Guilty. And forgiven. Thank You. In Jesus’ Name.

Jan 7 -Useless Talk and More

Job 14-16

The title my NASB gives for chapter Job 15:1-16 is, “Eliphaz says Job Presumes Much.”

In verse 3 of the chapter, Eliphaz asks: should a wise man argue with useless talk, or with words that are not profitable?

Then he continues with, “your guilt teaches your mouth.” (vs 5)

Now I know much of what Job’s friends tell him is off base. But I had to stop and consider Eliphaz’s question. Because I recognize that sometimes I let my opinions influence what I believe to be true. When that happens, my arguments are useless talk and nothing more. I need to be careful not to allow my guilt, my sin, justify my belief.

For example, if I over eat, I might adopt the opinion that gluttony isn’t that serious a sin – or not a sin at all. I can argue my point all day long, but my words are not profitable. And my truth is a fantasy.

Eliphaz also says, “Indeed, you do away with reverence and hinder meditation before God.” (vs4)

And that stopped me in my tracks. It’s one thing to rationalize my sin. It’s another to try to convince someone else of my lie. But when I realize that doing so comes between me and my Lord, I fall on my knees in repentance.

I don’t want anything to come between me and my God who loved me so much He died for me. I don’t want to mislead anyone with opinions I adopt to justify sin in my life. And I don’t want to misinterpret Scripture in order to make me feel good about myself.

Father God, I pray once again that I will be a student of your Word, that I would not have an opinion that is in any way contrary to Yours. I want to know the Truth as You have spelled out. And, Dearest Lord, I certainly don’t want to do away with the reverence I have for You. I worship You. I honor You. I bow before You. Let nothing hinder my meditation before You.