Luke 10:25-29 (NLT)
25 One day an expert in religious law stood up to test Jesus by asking him this question: “Teacher, what should I do to inherit eternal life?” 26 Jesus replied, “What does the law of Moses say? How do you read it?” 27 The man answered, “‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your strength, and all your mind.’ And, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’” 28 “Right!” Jesus told him. “Do this and you will live!” 29 The man wanted to justify his actions, so he asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?”
This exchange between Jesus and a religious leader led to the parable of the Good Samaritan. The leader was trying to justify himself by asking Jesus who was his neighbor. Jesus told the parable of A Good Samaritan. A Jewish man, was robbed, beaten and left for dead on the side of the road. A Jewish temple assistant and a Jewish priest both saw the man but continued their journey without stopping. A friend recently shared maybe these men were on their way to perform religious duties and to touch the beaten man would have rendered them ceremonially unclean. Instead of helping they chose to continue with their obligations. They justified their actions just as the religious leader was trying to justify his.
It seems these days everyone is trying to justify their actions, right or wrong. For instance, the party was planned; it was a reward for those who worked hard; why shouldn’t we use bailout money to pay for the party? Or we need to pay these executives top dollars in order to keep them, which is why we used the bailout money. We can’t help it if they decided to quit. Or I was entitled to take part of that money; after all I worked hard too. There is no justification for wrong actions. We can give excuses, we can come up with stories, but how can one justify what is wrong. Job said, “If I justify myself, mine own mouth shall condemn me: if I say, I am perfect, it shall also prove me perverse.” Jesus said, “Ye are they which justify yourselves before men; but God knoweth your hearts: for that which is highly esteemed among men is abomination in the sight of God.” If your actions are wrong take responsibility; own up to the problems and put aside self justifications.