Saturday, December 10, 2005

Rationalizing Rationalization

Have you ever noticed how skilled we humans have become at rationalizing our vices? Certain things we just cannot bear to give up so we accept any and every excuse to avoid exercising self-control. I am prone to it as well. Here is a list of five things that many Christians, including myself, wouldn't rationalize...if we were rational.

  1. pirated software/illegal mp3s
  2. amusement parks
  3. CCM
  4. TV/movies
  5. competitive sports

I believe that our struggle with these issues just shows us that we are all human and our sinful human natures have a natural tendency to seek that which does not lead us to God. The true Christian life is really about being transformed through the grace and power of Christ. That is the gospel.

  1. The gospel is about honesty, integrity, and unselfishness, not just hoping to "get away with it."
  2. The gospel is about true joy and everlasting peace, not the temporary adrenaline rush from a death-defying rollercoaster.
  3. The gospel is about singing with Paul and Silas in a jail, not rocking out to Christian lyrics.
  4. The gospel is about saving the world, not watching James Bond do it.
  5. The gospel is about everyone having a crown, not just the gold medalist.

One of the reasons that even good Christians can fall into this trap is that we don't ask the right questions. We tend to ask, "What is wrong with this particular activity?" instead of asking "What is right about it?" We forget to apply the test of Phil. 4:8.

Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.

What are you rationalizing?


Anonymous Alistair said...

Eloquently stated. It's remarkable how we rationalize things without even realizing it anymore...even those of us who know better.

Saturday, December 10, 2005 10:49:00 PM  
Blogger Joelle said...

Very true. Rationalization is a huge pit that young people fall into, and I think a major reason is because we don't compare ourselves enough with Jesus' example.

Sunday, December 11, 2005 3:54:00 PM  
Blogger Norman McNulty said...

Excellent post. Thanks for the reminder about rationalizing. It's good to know that the gospel can give us the victory over rationalizing as well.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005 10:00:00 PM  
Anonymous James said...

nice site tim =) good thoughts

Thursday, December 15, 2005 10:42:00 AM  
Anonymous Sarah said...


funny so many times how we rationalize our rationalizings..

could not have said it any better.

it was very nice to meet you backstage haha. my backyard at GYC. ^^

have a grrrreat year!

Tuesday, January 03, 2006 10:24:00 AM  
Anonymous michelle said...

So you do have xanga which sends people to your main website. ^^ I see that your hesitance when I mentioned that you need to get xanga was not because you don't have one but rather that you don't keep up with it. heheh

It was good to finally talk to you after seeing you for 2 years at GYC. *laugh* And I'm still jealous that you got to spend so much time with my niece while I am still deprived of such joys. ^^

What a thought provoking blog...I must honestly admit that as Christians we have become pros at rationalizing and I find myself doing that in my own life as well. Praise the Lord for the gospel which hits at the roots of rationalization and shows us what is indeed true and concrete...

Thanks for your thoughts...will tune in periodically to check on them, so make sure you post...
And come visit those of us on may not be as great as having our very own website, but it still works. ^^
God bless, Tim...

Wednesday, January 04, 2006 6:35:00 PM  
Anonymous Linda said...

"What is wrong with it?" is the question that my Pathfinders often asked me. Not wanting to give them a list of things that they should and shouldn't do, I would asked them: What would Jesus do? By then, they have stopped asking me what is wrong but start rationalizing. But I like the idea of asking: What is right about it? Rationalize our rationalizations. Thanks for the thought.

Thursday, January 05, 2006 8:56:00 AM  
Blogger Eagle said...

What a sermon! Best I've heard in a while. May I publish this in my blog site?


Tuesday, January 17, 2006 9:21:00 AM  

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