Against you, you only have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight, so you are right in your verdict and justified when you judge.
— Psalm 51:4
“What were you thinking?” I have heard parents ask their kids this question after they made a bad decision. Most parents fail to recognize that when people make dumb decisions, they don’t usually believe at the moment that it was foolish. Nobody sets out to be stupid, but frequently, that is where we end up. It’s not until reality or repentance sets in that we realize how wrong our thinking was in the moment.
I believe the same is true with sin. When you and I make sinful decisions, people might be asking, “What were they thinking when they did that?” The truth is, we thought it was a good idea.
King David could identify with this.
Let me be clear. I’m not suggesting that David believed an extramarital affair was righteous and just. Still, I believe David found a way to justify his decision. Maybe he thought, “It’s not fair. I am really busy, and I have been such a great king, I deserve to mess up every once in a while.” Perhaps he thought, “I deserve to slip up every once in a while with all this pressure in my life.” Whatever the rationale, David found a way to be comfortable with his sin. David justified his sin.
Yet when confronted by Nathan, David repented, and the view of his actions changed. David goes from justifying his sin to confessing that God’s verdict is right.
Although he justified the sin, David confesses that it was still sin, and God’s verdict is always right. It would be good for you and me to remember that what drives us to sin is not God’s wisdom, but rather man’s rationalization. We find creative ways to justify our actions.
Is there anything in your life that is being justified rather than being guided by God’s wisdom? Is there an area of your life that needs to change immediately to conform to God’s purposes? If so, let’s deal with that issue today before the sin goes any further!