When I was driving to Greenfield on Sunday, I was reminded about a conversation I had about 20 years ago. I was youth group leader and we were going on a trip on a bus. The youth pastor was driving and I looked at the speedometer. I commented that he was speeding because he was going just over 60mph. He told me that he set the cruise control at 62mph because he rationalized that the police would not pull him over because he was only doing 7 miles over the limit. It seems he rationalized that 62 wasn’t technically speeding.
At one time or another, are we not all guilty of treating sin the same way? “I’ll just look at the women’s underwear section. It’s not like I’m actually seeing anyone naked.”… “I’ll just hang out with my work buddies after work. I won’t drink or anything. Maybe I’ll just have one or two, but that’s my limit.”…”Hmm, the sales clerk gave me too much change. I’m already home and it’s a 20 minute drive. Oh well, I guess it’s my lucky day.”…“Sure, honey, that dress doesn’t make you look fat at all.” (Admittedly, this is wrong on both sides of the question, unless one’s wife is looking for the truth.)…“I was only curt with him because he interrupted me and I was tired. I didn’t mean anything by it. He’ll get over it.”…“The music lyrics are only a little suggestive. I can handle a few sexual innuendos. They won’t affect the way I look at women and my spiritual life.”
Little things that adds up, chipping away at my mind and resolve. These apparent little things increase my tolerance for sin in me and others. I rationalize that’s it is only a small act or thought and make it ok. Soon, I start making excuses for more and more leniency in my life. One of two things happens, I either believe I am mature because of my tolerance, which makes me a member of the Corinthian church, or I play the harlot chasing after the pleasures of the world. I am called to be holy, and not to tolerate sin. I am to beat my sinful nature into submission, so to speak. But I understand what Paul means in Romans 7,
When I want to do good, evil is right there with me. 22For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; 23but I see another law at work in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within my members. 24What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? 25Thanks be to God—through Jesus Christ our Lord!
I don’t want to sin but I can’t help myself sometimes. In God’s perfect plan of salvation, all my sins are forgiven. I can’t allow for the little things to build so that I can use it to rationalize the sins I commit. I am accountable for all my actions and excuses are never valid.