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Stop Trying to Justify Your Behavior

Confess that you are justifying things that do not conform to the heart and will of Christ. Discover how right you can be once you admit to being wrong.

Scripture

Our verse for today comes from Mark 14:4, ” But there were some who were indignant among themselves, and said, ‘Why was this fragrant oil wasted?’ “

Background

In Fyodor Dostoevsky’s The Brothers Karamazov , Fyodor Pavlovitch, the brothers’ father, recalls how he had once been asked, ” Why do you hate so-and-so so much? ” And he answered, quite matter-of-factly, ” I’ll tell you. He has done me no harm. But I played him a dirty trick, and ever since I have hated him. ” Cognitive dissonance, as written about in a book called Mistakes Were Made (but not by me) , is ” the engine that drives self-justification. ” It is the ” state of tension that occurs whenever a person holds two ideas, attitudes, beliefs, or opinions that are psychologically inconsistent. ” For example, ” Speeding is wrong, ” and ” I really couldn’t be late for my appointment. ” Or, ” Smoking is bad for me, ” and ” I smoke two packs a day. ” For Pavlovitch, he had arbitrarily mistreated another, and for his mind to reconcile that with his view of himself, he had determined that the other person was worthy of being hated. Why else would a person mistreat someone without cause? That would border on absurdity, and who among us wants to admit to being absurd or ludicrous? We must have a way to make sense out of the nonsense and contradictions that live within us. And this dissonance, it’s common to each of us. The challenge is to recognize it and admit to it. For according to historian Thomas Carlyle, ” The greatest of faults, I should say, is to be conscious of none. “

Application

Those present at the dinner when Mary poured her oil over Jesus cared not for her, the poor, and certainly not the Man she worshipped. But in their hatred of Jesus, they immediately became proponents of the poor, chastising her for her chosen avenue of generosity. I can tell you that I make sense out of far too much that is absurd. I justify and rationalize, for it’s much easier than admitting and changing. But just as a misdeed can provoke one to further discontent, so, too, can a good deed lead to grace and peace. If you will choose to admit to your absurdity, God will give you the mind of Christ, and things will make much more sense.

Charge

As we seek Him today, confess that you are justifying things that do not conform to the heart and will of Christ. Discover how right you can be once you admit to being wrong.


AuthorRich Holt | BCWorldview.org 

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