Scripture Reading: Genesis 3:8-13
An online Dictionary defines Self-Justification as, “The act or fact of justifying oneself, especially of offering excessive reasons, explanations, excuses etc. for an act, thought or the like.” Self-Justification is a very dangerous thing and it is one of the ways Satan uses to win victory in the lives of the children of God. These children of God appear saintly but their actions do not justify that. The height of self-Justification was noticed by Prophet Isaiah and he shouted out in Isaiah 5:20-21 thus, “You are doomed! You call evil good and call good evil. You turn darkness into light and light into darkness. You make what is bitter sweet, and what is sweet you make bitter. You are doomed! You think you are wise, so very clever.” This is exactly the mentality of one with self- justification. Such a person defines righteousness by human standards; righteous is only in the externals.
A story was told of how a fake pastor (man of God) who was in the habit of hiring people for the purpose of faking miracles in his church was caught. He had hired some students to come and fake miracles for his pastor friend in Abuja. They were to fake deaf and dumb, crippled and demon-possessed persons. A member of the church sensing what was going on, alerted the police and they were caught. Hear what the fake pastor said, “Every job has its own professional way of making money, and this is the way of making money in churches this days”. Now instead of having remorse for the evil done, he is justifying himself that it is the professionalism needed in today’s church business. Self-justification is very bad, it is evil, you will declare yourself saint when in the true sense of it you do abominable and sinful things. God gave King Saul a simple instruction in 1 Samuel 14:3, “Go and attack the Amalekites and completely destroy everything they have. Don’t leave a thing; kill all the men, women, children and babies, the cattle, sheep, camels and donkeys.” When Saul was accosted for the evil he did, he justified himself thus:, “……my men took them from the Amalekites. They kept the best sheep and cattle to offer as a sacrifice to the Lord your God and the rest we have destroyed completely.” Dear child of God, when you transgress God’s commandments, the immediate thing to do is to ask God for forgiveness and mercy. Let us not justify ourselves like Adam, Eve or Saul. Albert Bandura a Canadian Psychologist says, “Moral justification is a powerful disengagement mechanism. Destructive conduct is made personally and socially acceptable by portraying it in the service of moral ends. This is why most appeals against violent means usually fall on deaf ears.” Are you in the habit of telling lies but often give good reasons why you should do so? Do you indulge in exam malpractice in your school and always justify your actions? Do you usually indulge in getting money from dubious means and always justify it with the fact that you will give God “fat offerings”? Do you engage in extra-marital or pre-marital sex under the excuse that it is the way God created you? The list is endless! Beloved in Christ, let us approach the throne of mercy and like David tell God, “I have sinned against you- only against you- and done what you consider evil. So you are right in judging me, you are justified in condemning me.”
- Pray against the spirit of self-justification.
- Lord, help me to hate evil no matter the tactics deployed by Satan to make it attractive to me. (Pray seriously)
- Pray for as many that have gone astray under the cover of self-justification that seek true righteousness and forsake sinful ways of life.
- Pray for those battling with the sin of the flesh, that God will help them to pursue purity and holiness.
Exercise: Take the prayer of Self surrender to God in Section A.
Memory Verse: Psalm 50:17.