Wednesday, February 08, 2017

Perfectly Sensible

It all seemed to add up just fine ...
Great sins are committed for perfectly sensible reasons.

Absalom murdered his half-brother for raping his sister. His father knew about the rape and had done nothing about it. What was he supposed to do? If he failed to act, justice would never have been served.

King Jeroboam brought idolatry back to Israel. He reasoned it was better than having the people turn on him and kill him. Who blames a man for preferring life to death?

In each case the motives were at very least understandable. It was the methodology that got them in trouble.

And let’s not forget the man of God from Judah who turned back to Bethel for dinner, rejecting a specific and personal command from God. Perhaps he reasoned that the old prophet who extended the dinner invitation had greater seniority, or that the word of an angel trumps a message delivered less directly. Not bad theory, except it turned out the old prophet was lying to him.

Rationalization Time

Today, believing wives leave their husbands and believing husbands leave their wives because they want to experience real love. Hey, who doesn’t?

Church leaders compromise on New Testament truth because they reason their congregations will not obey it anyway. They’re probably right.

Spiritually gifted men take gigs in the Christian community that provide a regular paycheque rather than living by faith because “better men than me” have done it. It seems awfully arrogant to stand in judgment on our betters.

All such rationalizations are rooted in our failure to comprehend and internalize the character of God. Absalom forgot that “Vengeance is mine, and recompense.” Jeroboam failed to believe that God would deliver on his promise of a “sure house”. The man of God from Judah forgot that God is not a son of man, that he should change his mind.

Who Got Left Out of Our Calculations?

Likewise, believers who commit adultery seeking love forget that “none who touches her will go unpunished”. God’s character is consistent; you or I are not about to become the first lucky exceptions to one of his great moral principles.

Church leaders who compromise rather than setting an as for me and my house” example have forgotten that God is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think.

Gifted Christian men who follow well-worn paths of spiritual service, rejecting the promptings of their own consciences, have left out of their calculations the fact that God has a track record of using the young to teach the old and the foolish to shame the wise.

Great sins — and lesser ones too — are committed for perfectly sensible reasons. But choices made without reference to the character of God are bound to lead us astray.

In the spiritual world, the right answer is not always perfectly sensible.

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