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1 John 1:1-10

Rationalizing Sin

The well-loved author Corrie Ten Boom, in her autobiography, The Hiding Place, made a keen observation about the futility of rationalizing our sins. She said, “The blood of Jesus never cleansed an excuse.” Although we are fully justified as Christians, we must honestly acknowledge wrongdoing for what it is—sin against a holy God. If we hide behind excuses, we will neither sense His forgiveness nor gain the victory over evil habits.

A woman said to her pastor, “I’m deeply troubled about a problem I know is hurting my testimony: I exaggerate. I always seem to enlarge a story until it’s all distorted. People know they can’t trust me. Can you help me'
The minister said, “Let’s talk to the Lord about it.” She began to pray, “O God, Thou knowest I have a tendency to exaggerate.” At this point the preacher interrupted, “Call it lying, ma’am, and you may get over it!” The woman began to weep, because she knew he was right. She had been trying to make “lying” acceptable, and her excuse-making had made praying about it nearly impossible.

All of us are prone to cover up our sins by giving them polite names. Bad temper is said to be “nerves” or “righteous indignation,” untruthfulness is labeled “harmless exaggeration,” and dishonesty is dignified by calling it “good business.” To grow in grace, we must put aside all rationalizing and get to the heart of the problem. The blood of Jesus does not apply to excuses, but it has the power to cleanse any sin. - H.G.B.

Our Daily Bread, November 7

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