During a hurried visit to our local superstore yesterday, things seemed to go from bad to worse. Several encounters with rude employees, items not in stock, and finally, the self service checkout scanner apparently having taken the day off led to a sense of frustration. I walked away from the checkout with a sense of relief to finally leave the store. As I proceeded to the exit, I looked down into my grocery cart and noticed a bar of cooking chocolate I had not scanned. As I glanced at it, the movement of the cart caused the bar to fall into one of the bags with the other items I had purchased.
Immediately the thought came to mind: "You know, considering the rudeness, the products I couldn't find, and the malfunctioning scanner, I think the couple of bucks for that chocolate bar I forgot to scan is the least the store owes me for its incompetence and inconsideration!" I pondered such rationalization and compromise for a moment, only to look up and see several checkout stands open and with no customers. "Ain't happenin, Glen!" The thought came to mind as I smiled in the realization of what I knew I needed to do, and what I really wanted to do. "I forgot to scan this chocolate bar" I said as I walked up to the young man at the nearest register. "Wouldn't want you folks to have me arrested!" He smiled, took my money, and I walked out of the store in the peace and joy of not having distrusted and disobeyed the Lord.
Sin often results from rationalization, particularly regarding the perceived failures of other people. Adam implicitly blamed Eve when confronted by the Lord for partaking of the forbidden tree of knowledge of good and evil - "The woman Thou gavest Me, she gave me of the tree and I did eat" (a tacit blaming of God Himself can also be heard in Adam's excusing of sin - Genesis 3:12). Of course, Adam's rationalizing took place after his disobedience, but our spiritual enemies may also tempt us to vindicate ourselves before we actually distrust and disobey our Heavenly Father. The perceived sins of others against ourselves can become a false basis for our potential sin against God. This won't do in His mind, and we must allow no place for such deception in our own.
By the Lord's faithful involvement and leading, thoughts of rationalizing sin became opportunity to walk in the spirit and truth of the Lord Jesus' nature, character, and way. A different thought - "Ain't happenin', Glen!" - resulted in the heart delight of God-enabled faithfulness. He gets all the glory, I was blessed by His enabling, and I rejoice in sharing with you that the chocolate in the cake we baked yesterday was not obtained by ill-gotten means (the cake was delicious, by the way!).
"Awake to righteousness and sin not."
(I Corinthians 15:34)
Weekly Memory Verse
That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.