It’s Different When I Do It
At this retort Moses fled and became an exile in the land of Midian . . . Acts 7:29
Most of us have a strong sense of justice – when it applies to the wrongs of others. When we witness people attempting to evade consequences for something we know them to be guilty of, we’re irritated. You did it. Now accept the repercussions. It’s frustrating to see others avoid the justice we know they deserve.
It’s different when it’s me though. When I’m the one facing the painful effects of my destructive choices, suddenly I’m justified in doing whatever it takes to avoid them. When my life began to unravel due to my addiction, I tried to convince others to lie for me. At one point, long before that, when I realized I couldn’t stop using, I planned to move far away to run from my life problems.
This is what Moses did in today’s passage. In the story, Moses killed an Egyptian whom he’d witnessed abusing a fellow Israelite. He thought he’d gotten away with it until one of his fellow countrymen threw it in his face the next day. Realizing that the truth was out and that the Pharaoh wanted to kill him, he ran. Whether he was justified or not really didn’t matter. Moses’ sense of self-preservation kicked in and he fled the Pharaoh’s retribution.
Though we like justice when applied to the crimes of others, when it’s applied to our own, we usually decide, like Moses, that we’d rather avoid consequence. It’s different when I do it. We have our justifications. I deserve this. It’s not like I’m hurting anyone else. Though we criticize the lifestyle and behavior of others, when we indulge in our own sinful appetites, we make excuses. It’s no big deal. I won’t get caught.
It’s different when I do it, is a hideous hypocrisy of which most of us have been guilty. As Christians though, there’s an added layer of phoniness, because we often claim to be the moral barometer for those around us. We point out the sin in other’s lives, while indulging ourselves. In doing so, we become charlatans, losing all credibility with the world and damaging the cause of Christ.
If we desire to walk by faith and to know the life that God has made for us, then we’d do well to look inward. Daily, we must ask ourselves what we must abandon so that we may live for Christ without excuses.