Do you justify yourself? Do you justify your actions? How do you justify your actions? Do you justify them according to worldly thinking? Does that worldly thinking include justifying yourself with the almighty dollar? How far will that get you in eternity?
We justify our actions in a variety of ways. We make excuses for doing one thing and for not doing another. We make excuses for missing our kids’ school events. We make excuses for having an affair. Perhaps worst of all, we make excuses for not going to church.
Our excuses for not going to church include I don’t feel like it today, someone there once offended me, I believe in God but don’t need anyone else, I think the church is corrupt, I had to work, etc. We can make up all kinds of excuses and justify our actions in our own minds. But how do we think God views those excuses?
I suggest God views our excuses just as Jesus viewed the self-justification of the Pharisees. All the money in the world will not buy us eternal life. Notice Jesus says what people value is detestable in God’s sight. Remember, Jesus told Satan when He was being tempted that we are to “Worship the Lord Your God, and serve him only.” (Matthew 4:9) In other words, we are to make God our number one priority.
I can state with full confidence from my own personal experience that God will get us through your toughest times if we put him first. It was the Sunday morning, Sunday small group, and Wednesday evening Bible study that got me through a very rough time in my life. It was spending time with God’s people that gave me strength. Were there people there that I didn’t get along with perfectly? Sure. That didn’t stop me from leaning on God and being where I knew he was most active. When we put God first, make him our priority, he justifies us and strengthens us.
I pray we all make God our priority. I pray we give up trying to justify ourselves before a holy God. I pray each one of us determine to lean on God and spend time with his people. Stop trying to justify yourself. Make God your priority. Meet with the people of God. Trust Jesus at His word.
Luke 16:14-15 The Pharisees, who loved money, heard all this and were sneering at Jesus. He said to them, “You are the ones who justify yourselves in the eyes of others, but God knows your hearts. What people value highly is detestable in God’s sight.”