Let's face it - none of us really like to be wrong. None of us want to admit that some of the things we do are sinful.
So, what do we do? We rationalize. This is has been going on since Adam and Eve when they immediately pointed their faults outward rather than inward. "The serpent told me to!" "The woman told me to!" We still use these to this day, but it's more than just blaming others for our sin. It's finding ways to explain it away to make us feel better for the decisions we make. It's finding rationalizations to make it seem like we're doing the right thing.
Some examples of these rationalizations may include...
People stealing from others, but convincing themselves it's okay because their children are hungry.
A spouse getting jealous because the other spouse has a friendship that just doesn't fit with his or her perception of how relationships should be.
Two people (single or otherwise) deciding to be "friends with benefits" because it helps their friendship and/or other relationships.
A married couple deciding to have an "open marriage" because it makes them stronger as a couple and keeps temptation to actually cheat at bay.
Some of you, while reading those examples, probably immediately thought... "uhh... yeah... that's still sinful behavior, regardless of why you're doing it." And, you're right. It is. But I go back to my opening statements.
We don't like to be wrong. We don't like to admit we're sinful.
Today's Lenten sacrifice:
Stop rationalizing your sin.
Stealing is stealing, no matter how you spin it. Jealousy and envy are still just that - it's still a projection of your own insecurities and you're using that to harm yourself and your relationships. Sex outside of marriage is still a sin of lust, no matter how much you want to believe it's actually okay and helping your relationships.
Turn to God and openly confess these sins... without the "But I only did it because...." comments. It's not as easy as one would think to keep that rationalization away, even when talking to God. We still often seem to want to throw that in "I only did it because..." statement in there. But try. God knows your heart anyway. He knows your actions. He knows your sinful nature.
And he still loves you and forgives you and offers his blessings.