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?