How We Justify Ourselves
Dec 28, 2020 1939
The ways in which people justify the worst of our actions are truly amazing! Just look at politicians, who, if you believe them, are never wrong, and even their worst decisions were made for the very best of reasons. What a poor excuse for true leadership our politicians generally represent!
I’m mentioning politicians because it’s easy to throw stones at them, especially if they don’t belong to the party you vote for. But let’s bring this closer to home. What about you? How do you justify your actions?
The truth is that we all do it, basically all the time! It’s part of being a human being in this fallen world. We have a pervasive and insistent need to be right, and especially to be more right than others.
However the reality is that we are often wrong, and that includes you as well! This creates a dilemma, because we are usually unable to admit that we are wrong, not only to others, but to ourselves, and that results in our justifying our actions in some way or another. And the more we justify our actions, the more entrenched we become in the way we think and behave, and the less willing we become to change for the better.
God knows what’s behind the external appearances
This is nothing new. It was happening back in Jesus’ time. What Jesus taught and how he lived made it clear that the religious leaders of the day were on the wrong path. But they were desperate to appear right in the eyes of the people. Jesus said to them,
You are masters at making yourselves look good in front of others, but God knows what’s behind the appearance. What society sees and calls monumental, God sees through and calls monstrous (Luke 16:15, MSG).
There is a great danger to ourselves when we hide our true selves, and justify ourselves, because appearances can be deceiving, and the ones we deceive the most are ourselves. That’s why,
There is a way that appears to be right, but in the end it leads to death (Prov 14:12, NIV).
When you stop continually justifying yourself, you start your journey of healing and growth.
Yes, God knows what’s behind the external appearances. When you try to justify yourself, you can’t fool him, and ultimately, you can’t fool anyone else either.
Ultimately, as the Bible says,
A person may think their own ways are right, but the Lord weighs the heart (Prov 21:2, NIV).
When you stop continually justifying yourself, you start your journey of healing and growth. That’s because you will finally able to see your need of Christ in your life, and you will become gradually more open to the work of his Spirit in transforming you being. You will start to notice changes. The way you think and the way you speak will change and become more positive. Your relationships will be transformed.
At the end of the day, who do you want to be justified by? By yourself or by Christ?