The Good, the Bad, and the Justified!
Do you ever measure yourself attempting to determine if you are better or worse than another individual? This is a rather dangerous form of justification that almost all of us participate in at some time or another and probably in different forms and degrees. This type of human measurement makes righteousness relative, as we can always find someone who is better or worse than ourselves. But what does this type of justification or measurement mean? Is it life’s end goal, the journey, or both that must be carefully considered when offering justification?
Often times when we make attempts to measure or give justifications for ourselves it doesn’t mean a lot to anyone except us. Sometimes this likens us to the little boy who announced to his mother, “I’m like Goliath. I’m 9 feet tall.” His mother asked, “Why do you say that?” “Well, I made a ruler and measured myself with it!” How often do we make our own measuring tools comparing ourselves or our actions to others even if we only do so privately?
We seem to have a predisposition to attempt to make ourselves just a little bit better than we probably are. If you question this, then take a look at the popular social media site of Facebook where the masks and costumes are on full display. Unfortunately, measuring or giving justification for our life just doesn’t work and it creates a divide between us and our creator.
C. S. Lewis said, “A proud man is always looking down on things and people; and of course, as long as you are looking down, you can’t see something that’s above you.” Self-righteousness is dangerous and attempting to offer justification for it not only taints the end goal but life’s journey as well.
The Dangers of Worldly Justification
This week’s focus verse comes from the Parable of Two Men Who Prayed as told by Christ. When we create our own measuring stick the very ugly sin of pride can quickly develop. When this occurs, it easily allows us to give justification to put another person down. In these cases, not only do we separate ourselves from God, but it prevents us from learning anything from Him that could better our lives.
“For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.”Luke 18:14b (NLT)
Our end goal of life is important, but attempting to give justification to others, ourselves, or even to God ruins the journey and in life, the journey is part of the full process to fully reap the benefits of the goal. It is important for all of us to remember that we are no better or worse than another, but we have all been given different opportunities and experiences in life. We cannot allow ourselves to offer judgment for the choices that another person makes as we will never experience their exact situations or moments. This makes it impossible to know the choices we would have made in their circumstances. Because of this, we mustn’t allow our pride to think our choices would have been different or better. It is important to remember that we all need God’s mercy every day and we mustn’t allow our own justifications or pride to separate us from Him.
How to Tackle Prideful Justifications
Focusing on the journey of life takes work and effort to avoid worldly justifications. One of the primary ways we can steer the focus off of ourselves is through service. Service to others helps keep us aware of other’s needs taking the focus off of ourselves. If we feel our life is seeking a certain amount of needy greatness it is time to check in with God and see if it aligns with His plan. Truly humble people compare themselves only with Christ. This type of reflection quickly sobers us up as we realize our sinfulness and understand our own limitations.
Reflecting in this manner, however, is not meant to pull us down and want to stop the journey. But instead, as we compare ourselves to Christ it allows us to recognize our granted gifts and given strengths so that we can utilize them as He directs. When we look at humility, we need to look at it as a measuring stick or realistic self-assessment with a commitment to serve. Our journey in life is important to reach our ultimate goal. This is a journey that reflects worldly justifications that are put to the side so that we can stand before Christ one day and be fully justified through Him.
Won’t you take the challenge to keep a check on your worldly justification? Allow your convictions to help you remember that everyone needs the mercy of Christ. Find your motivation in knowing that no one is greater or lesser than yourself as everyone is of equal standing in God’s eye. Surround yourself in the comfort of knowing that the choices you make in life whether good or bad can be justified only through Christ who waits for you to bring it before Him.
Love in Christ,
Talent is God-given; be humble. Fame is man-given; be thankful. Conceit is self-given: be careful.Harvey Mackay
What are Your Thoughts?
Have you ever attempted to give justifications for your life? Do you consider the journey, the end goal, or both when examining your life? Share your thoughts and experiences on worldly justifications as compared to the justification of God.