Self-justification—a wolf in sheep's clothing

There's a story about a small child who, after an unhappy incident, was told by her mother to ask forgiveness in her prayer at bedtime. As she knelt at her mother's knee she said, "Please, God, make me a good girl. I have asked You before, but You don't try!" How the human mind tries to avoid responsibility by shifting blame elsewhere!

Haven't we all, at one time or other, tried to justify our actions and find an escape in the claim that we have done our part, but some other person or power has turned the effort awry? If such reasoning is not quickly detected and rejected, it may hinder our Christianly scientific demonstration.

Because right activity depends in part on a conscientious weighing of the pros and cons of the proposed act, justification can be an appropriate step in reaching a decision. But justification becomes sinful when it becomes self-justification, when it is used to justify an erroneous act, or a selfish interest, or a wrong motive.

Enjoy 1 free Sentinel article or audio program each month, including content from 1898 to today.

Second thoughts on baptism...
June 18, 1984

We'd love to hear from you!

Easily submit your testimonies, articles, and poems online.