Excuses and Justifications
Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness . . . Isaiah 5:20
It is not uncommon for me to meet the drug addict who insists that he should have opiate pain medications. He will agree that, in general, addicts should not have opiates, but believing himself to be in more pain than anyone else in the world, he is the exception. You don’t understand. I’m different. I really need it!
Under the influence of his own diseased thinking, he truly believes that he should have the very thing that has corrupted his mind. Though it is futile to explain, I usually try. Because of our addiction, you and I have surrendered the right to decide when we need opiate pain medications. Because we lie to ourselves, we must trust the opinions of those whose thinking is not so distorted.
There are those who simply don’t mind doing evil, but for most of us, there is a right and a wrong. When our appetite wants evil then, we must use justifications and excuses to disguise it. If we can convince ourselves that a thing is not wrong for us, then we can get away with it.
I know this because I’ve been there. In my addiction, I convinced myself I was actually doing the right thing. I need this. I worked hard all night and now I have to work tomorrow. I must sleep, and it would be irresponsible not to take the pills. It was different when I did it.
We do this, not just with drugs, but with greed, lust, anger, pride, gossip, and gluttony. It’s different when I do it! I’m justified! In doing so, we corrupt our minds, calling evil good and darkness light. In this condition, we become blind to our own toxic behavior.
If we desire to know good, and if we desire to avoid the misery of our destructive appetites, we must continually strive for honesty. God, show me where I am making excuses for evil. We must choose humility and listen to those who are not under the influence of our distorted thinking. Daily, we must abandon our lies to follow God’s truth.