Part of the human condition causes us to want to be at peace. We desire peace with God, peace with others, and peace with ourselves. We tend to find that peace when we feel good about ourselves, and our personal actions, along with the actions of others around us. I’ll have to deal with having peace with God later, as that can be quite complex.
There’s this imaginary scale we each have in our brains. It’s telling us whether we are more good than bad, or vice versa. We really don’t want to be viewed as a bad person, and more importantly, we don’t want to view ourselves in a bad light.
I like to think that the lives of Christians should somewhat mirror what the scripture teaches. Yet, I find quite the opposite. How can so many “Christians” have peace with themselves, if they are living a life contradictory to what the Bible teaches?
When Jesus instructs the man in Matthew 19 to give everything he owns to the poor, we’d like to figure out a way to think he’s just being metaphorical. Or perhaps, that Jesus wouldn’t want us to live a life where we are constantly giving and serving those around us.
When Jesus is giving his Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 5, and talks about issues dealing with sexual immorality and lust, we’d like to figure out a way to think that somehow our personal sin in these areas is accepted.
I encourage you to look at your own life. What are you justifying as being ok? Are you trying to not tell someone the whole truth (aka lie) to try and protect them, or maybe protect yourself? Are you not being generous to others and trying to justify it as being financially responsible (See Matthew 5:42 and 6:19)? Are you justifying sex, or lust? Maybe it’s drunkenness?
Perhaps Jesus says it best in Luke 6:46: “Why do you call me Lord, and not do what I say.” Let’s stop fooling ourselves that our sin could ever be justified.
To be a follower of Jesus, simply do what He teaches, and stop justifying your actions to feel better about our moral compass.