Monologue Monday: Justification

I have dealt with this subject a few times throughout my life.

I have wanted to do something that deep down inside I knew was wrong, but because of my own selfish reasons (or because I was just being rebellious), I made up some lame excuse to justify my behavior and then I did whatever it was that I wanted to do anyway (….in spite of the fact that I KNEW that what I was doing was wrong).
If you don’t feel like confronting yourself today or calling yourself out for your actions, then you might want to skip this read. And the truth is that I got uncomfortable too as I was writing this because I was pointing out some of my own character flaws…Ultimately though I strive at becoming a better person daily, and if that means not sugarcoating my actions and not turning a blind eye to areas that I know I need to work on, then I am ready to face myself.
But back to the subject at hand, have you ever heard the opinions of someone else and it contradicted what you knew to be right, (but they were steadfast in their beliefs that they too were right)? Or have you ever wanted to do something badly and you knew that it was wrong, so you justified your actions just so that you wouldn’t feel guilty about what it was that you wanted to do? Or rather have you heard how some of your friends treat the same situations as you have been faced with differently, and wondered how that was possible (especially if you both share in the same beliefs)?
I mean yeah different people have different ways of doing things, but how are some people blatantly doing things that their faith or beliefs state are wrong, but they still participate in the acts? For example, some people say one night stands or being friends with benefits are ok, but others say you should wait until marriage to have sex. Some say it’s ok to live with your significant other before marriage, but others urge you to wait until the nuptials. How can both people share similar faiths, but have such contrasting views on the matter? Which stance is even right?
I have often times wondered this myself, and I think the answer is in their interpretation.
Now don’t get me wrong, I think that the Bible is very clear and straightforward in what it states, but some people manage to take what they have read and to conform it or manipulate it to fit their lifestyle or agenda. This way, when they are doing something that is wrong, they won’t feel guilty or remorseful about it because they have “made it right” in their minds.
What these individuals fail to realize is that not only are they deceiving themselves, but they are misleading others astray in the process. As the Bible warns, “there is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death”.
Does that mean a literal death? It’s a possibility. But I think that it is referring more so to a spiritual death…. a spiritual decline in your morality. The more times that you do something, the more that it becomes normal and expected. After a while, you can grow so accustomed and tolerant to your actions that you genuinely no longer see anything wrong with what it is that you are doing (even if you previously deemed it inappropriately).
I’m about to call myself out a bit, but here is an example. I have mentioned before how much I love fashion, being creative, and expressing myself. More specifically, I love wearing dresses, skirts, and heels (especially since I like to work out and take care of my body)! Occasionally, I’ll throw on a short mini skirt with some pumps and feel fierce!
So what’s the problem with that? Well, I can’t talk about modesty when I am basically displaying the opposite. I know that the Bible states that women should dress appropriately and not wear things that would provoke a man’s mind to wonder or to lust after her.
But since I love my fashions though, (and I just want to state that I don’t walk around in mini-skirts all the time; I actually barely wear them but the point is that I do wear them), but since I want to do what I want to do though, you know how I alter what the Bible instructs in order to fit my desires to wear what I want to wear? By telling myself, “A person is going think how they want to think. I can’t control how someone else responds to something that I am wearing….I mean I get the low cut dresses and very tight clothing, but this…this is just a skirt…it’s practically shorts even, there is just no line dividing it down the middle. People wear less than this all the time…It can’t be that bad right???”
See how I rationalize my actions in my head even though I know that I am wrong? See how I compare my actions to the actions of other people whose actions might be worse than mine, so that I don’t feel as guilty about doing what I want to do? Clothing might not be your issue, but can you relate to ever having justified your actions to achieve your desired outcome?
In the end, not only have I manipulated my beliefs to conform to something that I wanted to partake in, but then I look around me and I see many of the girls who look up to me telling me how much they love my style of dress or asking me where I buy my clothes. Thus, not only am I responsible for the things that I do but what I inadvertently encourage other young girls to do as well.
You might be saying “well I shouldn’t be responsible for what someone else does”. And while that is a valid point, you are accountable for your actions and if you are living in a way that positively agrees with the lifestyle that you have chosen, even if it contradicts what you know to be right, then you are demonstrating with your behavior that what you are doing is ok and acceptable….and sometimes you are the only example that others may ever experience of Christ.
I know that this might seem like a non-issue to ya’ll or that the mini-skirt example is so minute and insignificant, but just because everybody else is doing it doesn’t mean that it’s ok.
Instead of answering whether something is right or wrong for you though, I will pose to you this question: If nothing is wrong with your actions, then why do you find yourself justifying them?
Be responsible….Live intentionally.
-Virgin Monologuez

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