Rational thinking illustration, phipatbig / Shutterstock.com
Christianity’s most common and subtle sin is … rationalization.
‘Rationalization’ is defined as: an attempt to explain or justify (one's own or another's behavior or attitude) with logical, plausible reasons, even if these are not true or appropriate (Wikipedia).
Essentially, rationalizing is a way of making excuses.
Ever since Adam tried to blame Eve (Gen. 3:12), Moses tried to downplay his ability to lead God’s people out of Israel (Exodus 3), Aaron tried to deflect blame for the Golden Calf onto others (Exodus 32:22), Gideon’s self-deprecation (Judges 6), and Jeremiah’s excuse of being too young (Jer. 1:6), people have rationalized their rebellion to God.
Creating logical, plausible, and valid explanations to justify our sinful actions — or inactions — is easy. We do it all the time because instead of being obviously and visibly wrong, it’s covert, motivated by fear, doubt, shame, and guilt, and mixed with what we assume is intellect and reason — in reality it’s a form of spiritual escapism.
Rationalization is a type of invisible rebellion. It’s hidden not just from us but from everyone. Therefore, it’s rarely noticeable and hardly ever called out. People aren’t held accountable for being reasonable.
But being a follower of Christ often demands being unreasonable.